Local and International business collaboration for productivity and Quality Improvement in Dairy chains in SE Asia and East Africa (LIQUID)
Dairy chains in developing countries are often performing sub-standard, leading to quality losses, safety issues, and economic inefficiencies. Various business models are applied in dairy chains, by national and international dairy companies. Little is known on the inclusiveness, effectiveness and scalability of the different business models for improved food and nutrition security. The LIQUID project seeks to fill this knowledge gap by doing research, developing capacity and sharing knowledge on how different business models lead to inclusiveness, in terms of income opportunities for farmers and workers, as well as in terms of availability of high quality dairy products for consumers in South-East Asia and East Africa.
This integrated multidisciplinary project consists of 4 PhD projects and 2 Postdoc projects. The four PhD students will investigate quality management systems, milk pricing systems, farming systems, and business models. One postdoc researcher will study the institutional embeddedness of dairy value chain models, while the other will study how the dairy chain can deal with risk and seasonality in milk production. The project involves international and national comparisons, while best practices of inclusive business models will be piloted in Kenya and Tanzania.
The overall objective of LIQUID is to contribute to an improved food and nutrition security situation in SE Asia and East Africa by studying, capacitating and sharing knowledge on how and under which conditions different business models in the dairy chain provide growth opportunities for smallholders and workers and enhance the availability and quality of dairy products for consumers. In all of the following sub-objectives, gender and youth will receive special attention.
(1) To explore inclusive business models in SE Asia and to scale the best practices to East-Africa.
(2) To assess how different models of vertical and horizontal business collaboration support farmers to increase quality, quantity and productivity.
(3) To investigate how business models can help to manage risk and seasonality in smallholder production systems and thereby improve productivity.
(4) To study how quality assurance systems can be adapted to fit selected business models.
(5) To investigate how different business models can support on-farm innovations towards more sustainable farming practices.
Knowledge sharing and capacity development objectives
(1) To share the knowledge and insights generated through the research projects with local and international businesses, NGOs, and research, education and training institutes.
(2) To educate and train stakeholders in dairy value chains in SE Asia and East Africa to introduce new as well as strengthen existing inclusive business models, milk quality control systems, and productivity enhancement mechanisms. The stakeholders include smallholder dairy farmers, milk processors, trading companies, quality control organisations, policy makers, and NGOs.