Influence Of Milk Intermediaries’ Purchasing Strategies On Sustainability Of Small-scale Dairy Farming In Manyatta Constituency, Embu County, Kenya.
Small-Scale Dairy Farming (SSDF) experiences market challenges influenced by purchasing strategies of milk intermediaries. Some of the challenges include low milk prices, inappropriate information on contract milk marketing, inadequate dairy farming inputs/services. The purpose of this study was to investigate influence of milk intermediaries’ purchasing strategies on sustainability of SSDF in Manyatta Constituency, Embu County. The study was informed by literature review, theoretical framework and empirical studies as secondary data. Descriptive survey design was used in order to capture subjective views of the respondents. Glenn formular was used to calculate a sample size of 390 respondents from target population of 16200 smallscale dairy farmers. Stratefied random sampling was used to get a representative sample size of 130 respondents from each administrative division in the constituency. Purposive Sampling procedure was used to select 27 secondary respondents to represent 27 milk intermediaries. Primary data was collected using questionnaires. Collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency, mean and percentages using Microsoft Excel Computer package. Data was presented using tables. The study revealed that pricing decisions by milk intermediaries influenced small-scale dairy farmers negatively; only a few farmers sold milk on contract basis which were verbal; majority of the small-scale dairy farmers acquired farm inputs and services from private agro vet shops and private service providers respectively despite the high cost. The purchasing strategies of milk intermediaries influenced sustainability of SSDF negatively. The study therefore recommended that the ministry of Livestock should encourage dialogue forums between small-scale dairy farmers and milk intermediaries when milk pricing decisions are made. Farmers should be encouraged to sell milk on contractual basis which should be written; the Ministry of Co-operative development should encourage farmers to form dairy co-operative societies to help them get dairy farm inputs/services at a fair price and on credit basis. It is hoped that implementation of these recommendations may help to mitigate micro-dynamic market challenges encountered by SSDF