Status and prospects for smallholder milk production: a global perspective

Milk production is an important livestock-sector activity and it is estimated that nearly 150 million farm households throughout the world are engaged in milk production. Small-scale milk production not only improves food security of milk producing households but also creates significant amounts of employment in the entire dairy chain, which comprises many small-scale rural processors and intermediaries. On the other hand, demand for milk and milk products is steadily growing, particularly in developing countries. If supply is to keep pace with the growth in demand, milk production will need to grow by close to 2 percent per year. The aim of this report is to provide a holistic picture on the trends and drivers in the dairy sector as well as the implications these may have for the future of dairy farming, in particular among the smaller-scale, rural producers.