A4NH / Animal Production / Dairying / Nutrition / Uganda

Improved dairy cows in Uganda: Pathways to poverty alleviation and improved child nutrition

The introduction and dissemination of improved dairy cow breeds in Uganda is arguably the most significant step taken to develop a modern and commercial dairy industry in the country over the last two decades. This IFPRI study uses a nationally representative sample of Ugandan households to rigorously examine the impact of adoption of improved dairy cow breeds on enterprise-, household-, and individual child-level nutrition outcomes.

The authors find that adopting improved dairy cows significantly increases milk productivity, milk commercialization, and food expenditure. Consequently, adoption substantially reduces household poverty and stunting for children younger than age five.

Further, they find that households with small farms will increase milk yield and food expenditure while also reducing poverty substantially due to adoption, and large farms increase not only own-milk consumption and commercialization but also nutrition outcomes of children younger than age five.

They argue that for holistic and sustainable improvements in broader welfare and nutrition outcomes, agricultural development programs should be accompanied with related programs on gender empowerment, nutrition education, and food safety and hygiene.

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