An Examination of the Impediments to Profitability of Smallholder Dairy Farmers in Palabana Dairy Cooperative


  • Chivunda Kapende Graduate School of Business, University of Zambia, Zambia
  • Dr. Euston Kapotwe Graduate School of Business, University of Zambia, Zambia



smallholder dairy farmer, profitability, socio-economic factors, production cost, production method, constraints


Smallholder dairy farming holds critical importance in most developing economies, Zambia included, as it contributes significantly to livelihoods through food security, income, and employment opportunities. The research aimed to identify and examine the factors constraining the profitability of smallholder dairy farm operations in Palabana dairy cooperative. The study used the mixed method approach and the two-stage sampling procedure which included purposive sampling procedure and simple random sampling to collect data by utilizing closed and open-ended questionnaires from 73 smallholder dairy farmers. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression methods. The majority of the smallholder dairy farmers were males (67.1%), possessed tertiary education (79.5%) with vast dairy farming experience of 16 years and above (39.7%), and had an age distribution of 36-50 years skewed towards the middle-aged to elderly (46.6%). Slightly above half of the respondents (56.2%) practiced livestock farming only, and the majority (60.3%) boasted of having attended livestock training. The study revealed that socio-economic factors, production costs and production methods had a significant impact (p = .001) on the profitability of the dairy farming business and they explained 61.2% of the change in dairy farming profitability. Using the Likert scale measurement, the key constraints to dairy farming profitability identified under socio-economic factors (p = .023) included; not enough grazing land, lack of access to credit facilities and nonparticipation in milk price determination. The constraints under production costs (p = .000) were the high cost of feed, the cost of breeding (artificial insemination) and the cost of disease prevention and control. For the items under Production methods (p = .031), the key challenges identified with high ratings included low knowledge of best husbandry practices and poor breeding methods. Based on the findings of the study, the research strongly recommends that farmers lease nearby farmlands to deal with the shortage of grazing land, Government and financial institutions to come up with various credit packages with reduced interest rates tailored for smallholder dairy farmers, smallholder dairy farmers to form organized unions to enable them bargain for better milk prices, the cooperative to organize targeted training and capacity building programs where demonstration farms will be established to showcase the best husbandry practices and farmers to engage more in mixed farming methods which will enable them grow own fodder thus reduce feed expense.


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How to Cite

Kapende, C., & Dr. Euston Kapotwe. (2024). An Examination of the Impediments to Profitability of Smallholder Dairy Farmers in Palabana Dairy Cooperative. Management Journal for Advanced Research, 4(2), 49–60.