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Developing and evaluating sustainable integrated farming systems for improvement of smallholder dairy production while optimizing crop production in milk shed areas of Malawi and Zambia

Project Summary

The project contributes to the improvement of rural smallholders’ livelihoods by identifying, testing and promoting productive farming strategies/technologies in crop/dairy integrated farming systems.
In a first step, a baseline survey in selected extension-plan areas will present current crop/dairy production at smallholder level. Based on the results of the survey, 180 farmers will be selected as leading dairy farmers capable of serving as role models in their regions (step 2). As part of the project, these leading dairy farmers will undergo special training to enhance their management skills. They will also be provided with farm-specific results from the integrated analysis tool (IAT), a simulation model enabling them to define the local best-bet strategy in a participatory process. The third step involves implementation of the best-bet strategies, including field trials on the leading dairy farmers’ farms. Making use of another farm survey, the fourth step includes the impact assessment of the individual best-bet strategies. As a result, impact can be assessed at farm level, allowing us to draw conclusions about adopting the chosen strategies. These conclusions will be disseminated to improve the efficiency of smallholder dairy production in Malawi and Zambia.

Research Coordinator

Markus Lips, Dr.
Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART
Tänikon 1
8356 Ettenhausen
E-mail address:
Phone number: ++41 52 368 31 85


3 years