Data from a village household dairy survey was compared with technical parameters of three model farms (0.2, 0.4 and 0.8 ha in extent) established by the Mid-country Livestock Development Centre (MLDC). In terms of land size, about 67␘f the 250 dairy farmers interviewed corresponded with the MLDC models, but only 33␘f the farmers were keeping dairy cattle under conditions comparable to the MLDC models (no regular off-farm income). In the 0.2 ha category, village farmers kept more cows, and in the other two categories the village farmers kept less cows than their MLDC model counterparts. In all three categories, the milk production per cow was higher in the model farms (1540 to 2137 vs. 1464 to 1508 litres/cow/year), and this could be attributed to higher feeding levels of concentrates in the model farms as compared to the village farmers (430 to 761 vs. 233 to 383 kg/cow/year). The amount of milk produced from fodder was higher in the village situation in comparison to the models. In the mid country, dairy production seems to depend on access to fodder resources rather than on the extent of land owned. Except in the 0.8 ha village category, the highest contribution to the total income was made by the dairy component (44 to 60Ž With 0.8 ha village farmers, the income contribution from dairy and crops was similar (41Ž Income from other livestock was important for the 0.2 ha MLDC model, but for all other categories their contribution to total income ranged from 0 to 10ÐAccess to fodder resources outside own-farm land is vital for economic dairy production. As such, an in-depth analysis of feed resources available and their accessibility needs to be further investigated.