Livestock Systems

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

Project code
AUD 2,923,563
Research program manager
Dr Anna Okello
Project leader
Dr David McGill
Commissioned organisation
The University of Melbourne
APR 2017
JUN 2022
Project status
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This project aimed to improve the profitability of smallholder farming households in Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces, through on-farm efficiency gains and development of dairy and beef market opportunities. 

Smallholder dairy farms are a vital component of Pakistan’s mixed crop-livestock farming systems and the national economy. Although milk is the primary product, male calves and old cows are a key source of meat. 

Demand for high quality meat and milk is rapidly increasing in Pakistan’s urban and regional centres, creating significant opportunities for smallholder dairy farming families, of which only a small proportion currently make any profit from dairy. 

Increasing profit from the meat component of dairy farms is critical to address the economic viability and competitive advantage of smallholder dairy smallholder farms. 

The project investigated opportunities to boost beef returns through on-farm efficiency improvements and linking smallholder families with markets, and analysed beef value chains to identify opportunities and constraints for smallholders. Farmer business groups were created and supported to enable smallholders to access more profitable beef markets.

Project outcomes

  • Improved efficiency of smallholder dairy farmer participation in dairy and beef value chains.
  • Additional income opportunities through beef production and improved market access.
  • Improved smallholder household livelihoods from increased value of beef.
  • Improved connections between smallholder farmers and markets.
  • Increased engagement between farm business groups and value-chain personnel.
  • Increased engagement of youth and women working on-farm and in the agricultural sciences.
  • Increased awareness among farmers of the opportunities for beef production from their farm to maximise them. 
Key partners
Charles Sturt University
Sindh Agriculture University
The University of Melbourne
University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
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Fact sheet LPS/2016/011