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Growth and Performance of the Ugandan Dairy Sector: Elites, Conflict and Bargaining

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Abstract – The dairy sector is one of the only agricultural
sectors in Uganda that has enjoyed sustained high growth
since the late 1980s. Milk and the cold dairy chain developed
especially in the South-Western part of the country. Some
farmers have since adopted improved breeds and better
livestock management. However, the biggest percentage of
the milk is sold unprocessed. This paper explains why this
sector has experienced significant growth in the last decade.
We argue that the dairy sector has relatively been successful
in the South-Western region due to the involvement of the
ruling elites who wanted to build a support base in their
home area. In addition, the elites had special interest in dairy
farming, since key elite members owned dairy cattle
themselves hence have played key role in promoting the dairy
sector. Liberalisation enhanced the competitiveness of the
dairy sector business, which has since attracted a big number
of middlemen including processors, leading to a significant
increase in milk production. As milk production grew, there
was need to regulate the sector. Regulation has been
relatively successful and an agency called the Dairy
Development Authority (DDA) established to promote
efficiency in marketing of milk. With the existence of DDA,
to a considerable extent there has been an improved
organization of dairy farmers and traders and also the
quality and safety of milk enhanced amidst conflicts.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Agriculture Innovation and Research
Sider (fra-til)287-298
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2013

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