Dairy farming is an important livelihood strategy for smallholder farmers in Zambia. This is especially so for those in rural areas as it provides food security and livelihoods for rural households. It is important for smallholders to therefore invest in reliable dairy technologies to ensure that they have a constant flow of milk to provide to the market that is already assured to them by virtue of being part of networks such as dairy cooperatives. This study focuses on understanding how smallholder farmers construct the technology in order to ensure it is adapted and adopted. The study, which was done among smallholder households in Mapepe, Magoye and Monze districts in Zambia, revealed that various factors motivate farmers to adopt particular dairy technologies. These technologies include improved animal breeds, improved feeding techniques, milk hygiene and quality, animal health and better management practices for the farmers. A farmer’s major interest is to ensure that total productivity of his/ her animal is optimal. Determining factors include income, age and level of education of the farmers, labour availability and the contribution of dairy farming to improved standards of living for the smallholder household. The farmers also revealed that follow-ups after trainings are very vital to encourage them in sustainable technology adoption. Government investment in extension services would therefore play a major role in ensuring that these technologies are taken up and really implemented.

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Spoor, Max
Rural Livelihoods and Global Change (RLGC)
International Institute of Social Studies

Ndandula, Sharon Ngonde Manjekwa. (2011, December 15). Pathways to Technology Adoption: Understanding Smallholders Dairy Farmers in Southern Zambia. Rural Livelihoods and Global Change (RLGC). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/10629