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Improving smallholder dairy and beef profitability by enhancing farm production and value chain management in Pakistan

This project aims to improve the profitability of smallholder farming households in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh, Pakistan, through making farms more efficient and developing dairy and beef market opportunities.
Smallholder dairy farmers are a fundamental component of Pakistan's mixed crop-livestock farming systems and the national economy. While these farms' primary product is milk, the same animals (i.e. male calves and old cows) are a key source of meat when sold to market. Pakistan's urban and larger rural centres increasingly demand high quality meat and milk, which creates significant economic opportunities for smallholder dairy farmers. Very few profit from their dairy enterprise, but they could derive more income from beef.
This project is part of the Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research (AVCCR) program and builds on a smallholder dairy extension project (LPS/2010/007) that developed and piloted simple on-farm interventions that increased productivity by 25-30% (resulting in an additional income of $100/month), and a whole-family extension approach that assured these interventions were widely adopted.
This project will scale out the whole-family extension strategy through partnerships with dairy extension and development stakeholder organisations including Government, non-government organisations, private sector and donors in both Punjab and Sindh. It will train Pakistani collaborators (particularly women) so they can lead the research and engage with farmers.
The project will improve the return of the beef component of dairy farms through improving on-farm efficiency, and increase the value of produce by linking smallholder farming families with beef markets. Traditionally, smallholder farms have little market power, especially in developing markets such as Pakistan's beef sector. The project will map and analyse beef value chains to identify value chain opportunities and constraints for smallholder farmers. It will form and support farmer business groups so smallholders can access more profitable beef markets.