Theses and Articles

The LIQUID program has already inspired the following articles & theses.

Available upon request, please mail to gea.wijers (at)


  • TWINE, Edgar, E., Omore, A., & Githinji, J. (2018) ‘Uncertainty in milk production by smallholders in Tanzania and its implications for investment’  International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 21, 53-72. 

Available at:


The study evaluates the impact of risk on enterprises of smallholder male, female and young milkproducers in Tanzania’s formal and informal dairy value chains. It also examines the effect of uncertainty on the decision to invest in milk production in both value chains. Results indicate that youths in the informal value chain face the greatest level of risk followed by men in the formal value chain, and then men in the informal value chain. Women in both value chains and youths in the formal value chain face relatively low risk. Overall, milk production in the informal chain is found to be substantially riskier than production in the formal chain. Optimal investment triggers are found to be much larger than the conventional triggers and are sensitive to volatility of returns.
The results’ policy and practical implications for inclusive dairy industry development in Tanzania are highlighted.

  • TON, Giel, Nora OURABAH HADDAD, Jos BIJMAN, Mohamed SRAÏRIi and Patience MSHENGA, 2016. Organizational challenges and the institutional environment: a comparative analysis of dairy cooperatives in Kenya and Morocco. Wageningen, Wageningen University & Research, Report 2016-088. 42 pp.

Available at:


This study analyses the relationship between dairy cooperatives in Kenya and Morocco and their institutional environments. It compares ten Moroccan and Kenyan dairy marketing cooperatives and suggests possible development strategies, support programmes and enabling policies in order to address two important organizational challenges, namely effective quality assurance systems and attractive and cost-efficient payment modalities for members. We discuss ways in which the institutional environment can be strengthened in overcoming these challenges, by looking into three areas: internal organizational strengthening of the cooperative sector, public support with conducive policies and regulations, and the facilitation of multi-stakeholder platforms to discuss, propose and implement these policies.

Policy Brief

TWINE, Edgar E., Amos OMORE and Julius GITHINJI (2017) Uncertainty in smallholder milk production in Tanzania: implications for investment, CGIAR, Research program on Livestock.

key Messages

In Tanzania, cattle are considered the most economically and socially important type of livestock.
 Uncertainty and risk associated with livestock keeping are major concerns, particularly in the dairy industry—as the industry has significant potential to reduce poverty, improve nutrition and foster inclusive development in Tanzania.
 Existing and prospective dairy farm managers need to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills in animal husbandry to adequately address production-related risks.
 Dairy farm managers need to ensure they are feed self-sufficient. This could be achieved by allocating enough land to produce fodder, including maize specifically for maize bran.
 Dairy enterprises would benefit from diversifying their income sources to help them cope with sudden changes in the market.
 Dairy farm managers should adopt flexible approaches to decision making. This requires they have access to market information and knowledge of the implications of alternative production decisions.
 Attaining inclusive dairy industry development will necessitate the Tanzanian government recognize that the impacts of uncertainty vary by the gender of the producer and type of value chain.

MSc Theses

  • Andhani, Puspa Rizki (January 2018) Young Farmers’ Participation in Kenyan and Indonesian dairy cooperatives, MSc thesis, Management Studies. Supervisors: Gea Wijers and Jos Bijman


In the Indonesian and Kenyan dairy sectors, dairy cooperatives have an important function as an intermediary between dairy farmers, milk processors and the dairy industry. As the farming population continues to age and large numbers of farmers appear to have no successor, the youth is showing no interest to engage in dairy cooperatives. It is necessary to understand how crucial youth’s role to participate as young dairy farmers and cooperative members. Thus, objectives of this study are to identify the importance of young farmers’ roles in dairy cooperatives, to explore drivers and constraints based on young farmers characteristics, sociocultural and economic factors that influence their participation young farmers’ participation in Indonesian and Kenyan dairy cooperative. This will help us to identify critical areas for further research on youth participation in dairy cooperatives, as well as possible recommendations to enhance young farmers’ participation which further used to improve the dairy development and to tackle youth unemployment issues.


  • Sportel, Hielke M. (July 2017) Strategic Alliances in the Zambian Dairy Chain, MSc thesis Management, Economics & Consumer Studies. Supervisors: Jos Bijman and Jacques Trienekens


The objective of this research is to determine which strategic alliances are currently being used by milk collection centres (MCC’s) in the Zambian dairy industry and why these specific strategic alliances are being used. A literature study was conducted to understand forms and determinants of strategic alliances and to generate a base for data collection on the MCC’s in Zambia. Detailed data was collected from 10 MCC’s, which can be considered as a representative sample of the total population of 77 MCCs. The result show a total of 5 forms strategic alliances currently being used by MCC’s in the Zambian dairy chain: horizontal action sets, horizontal cooperative agreements, unions, vertical action sets, and vertical cooperative agreements. MCCs had strategic alliances with 11 different alliance partners. The main reasons entering strategic alliances are the marketing of milk, access to farming inputs, access to feed, access to training, and access to NGO support.


  • Van Noppen, Marieke (March 2017) Inclusiveness of dairy development interventions and the support to safety control measures at smallholder dairy farms in Tanzania, MSc thesis Food quality & design. Supervisors: Pieternel Luning, Jos Bijman and James Ledo.


Since raw milk is a vulnerable product, safety control measures (SCMs) are needed to reduce the chance on consumption of foodborne pathogen contaminated milk. Since there are shortcomings in the SCMs in Africa, interventions are needed to improve the milk safety. In addition, interventions should be inclusive of women and youth and recognize their voice and needs. This report describes the current SCMs, the support of the interventions to the SCMs and the extent of the inclusiveness of the interventions towards women and youth.

  • Wilson, Charles Wilson (March 2017) Assessment of milk quality along the dairy value chain in Mbeya and Songwe Region, Southern highlands of Tanzania, MSc Animal Sciences. Supervisors: Simon Oosting and Simon Nyokabi.


Currently, the demand for milk products in Tanzania is higher than the domestic production and supply. Milk quality management along the dairy value chain is important to reduce microbial contamination that may cause milk-borne diseases to humans. The main objective of this study was to assess the existing dairy value chain and evaluate different factors affecting milk quality in urban (UR), peri-urban (PU) and rural (RU) locations in Mbeya and Songwe region in the southern highlands of Tanzania.

  • Bingcheng, Lu (2016) Development of a diagnostic tool to assess the causes of safety problems of raw milk production in China, Msc thesis Food Quality Management. Supervisors: Pieternel Luning, Elsa Antunes Fernandez and James Ledo.


The Chinese dairy industry is growing fast in recent years, which leads to an expanding demand for raw milk. However, deficiencies in raw milk safety have been reported on most Chinese farms. This MSc thesis develops a diagnostic tool that is used to assee the causes of the safety problems. Crucial technological and managerial as well as context factors are identified in this research which have high influence on safety control activities of raw milk production. Microbial and chemical contaminants (somatic cell count, bacteria count and antibiotic residues) are the main safety hazards this dissertation focuses on. There are four parts (receiving incoming materials, keeps cows healthy, milk activities and storage) included in the production line which are all discussed.

  • Ekpa, Onu (2016) Assessment of factors influencing the control of raw milk safety in Kenya and the roles of inclusive business model [.s.], MSc thesis Food Quality Management. Supervisors: Pieternel Luning, Elsa Antunes Fernandez and James Ledo.


The dairy sector in Kenya has recorded a steady grown in productivity over the last decade. In spite of development, dairy consumers appear to be predisposed to food safety risk emanating from the farm. This paper describes the factors influencing the crucial control measures for microbial and chemical contaminants (aflatoxin M1 and antibiotic residues) in raw milk and how inclusive business models could contribute to improvement of these control practices to achieve the production of safe raw milk. Several critical factors have been identified as major farm activities and validated by experts. The research framework gives a comprehensive assessment of not just the technical factors influencing the safety of raw milk but also the context factor and managerial factors. Critical analysis of different inclusive business models and their impacts on dairy safety was carried out.

  • Treakle, Jordan (2015-2016) Agricultural cooperatives and the social economy in Kenya’s changing governance landscape, MSc Thesis, Managerial Studies Group, Wageningen University and Research. Promotor/Supervisor: Jos Bijman


This research aims to gain insight into the performance of Kenyan agricultural producer organizations in supporting their farmer membership in a changing governance environment. As Kenyan agriculture becomes increasingly liberalized and embedded in regional and global agricultural markets, Kenyan small-scale farmers, and the farmer organizations that support them, are increasingly facing new challenges requiring adaptation and innovation. In particular, mounting pressures to commercialize the dairy sector have important implications for rural livelihoods and farmer rights in Kenya. Thus drawing on the fields of cooperative theory, political economy, new institutional economics, and rural sociology, and utilizing qualitative research methods, this research produces insight into how the services and activities of agricultural producer organizations, and in particular dairy cooperatives, are part of a social economy, the agricultural policies that frame this engagement, and the implications for these organizations’ efforts to adapt to a changing governance landscape.