Milking the data: Measuring milk off-take in extensive livestock systems. Experimental evidence from Niger

Zezza, A and Federighi, G and Kalilou, A A and Hiernaux, P (2016) Milking the data: Measuring milk off-take in extensive livestock systems. Experimental evidence from Niger. Food Policy, 59. pp. 174-186. ISSN 03069192

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Milk is an important source of cash and nutrients for many households in developing countries. Yet, our understanding of the role of dairy production in livelihoods and nutritional outcomes is hindered by the lack of decent quality household survey data. Data on milk off-take for human consumption are difficult to collect in household surveys for a number of reasons which make accurate recall challenging for the respondent (continuous production and seasonality among others), introducing possibly severe biases in the computation of full household incomes and farm sales, as well as in the estimation of the contribution of livestock (specifically dairy) production to agricultural value added and the livelihoods of rural households.This paper presents results from a validation exercise implemented in Niger, where alternative survey instruments based on recall methods were administered to randomly selected households, and compared to a 12-month system of physical monitoring and recording of milk production. The results of the exercise show that reasonably accurate estimates via recall methods are possible, and provide a clear ranking of questionnaire design options that can inform future survey operations.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : West & Central Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Livestock; Household surveys; Livelihoods; Questionnaire design
Subjects: Others
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2017 14:22
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2017 15:31
Official URL:
Funders: Open Access funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Acknowledgement: The authors are grateful to all the individuals who took part to the monitoring and surveys in the village and camps of the Dantiandou district, together with the local authorities, for their patience and active participation to the year round monitoring and the repeated surveys. They are grateful to Moussa Kaka, to have toured and vaccinated the dairy cows, and to Oumar Moumouni and Seybou Garba for most ably and carefully conducting the interviews and monitoring of milk production. They would also like to thank Dr. Mohamadou Gandah and his colleagues from the ICRISAT administration office for the efficient logistical support they provided to the field team. Alberto Zezza is indebted to Derek Baker, Isabelle Baltenweck, Gero Carletto, Celine Dutilly, Mathieu Lesnoff, Nancy McCarthy, Jane Poole, Steve Staal, and Matthew Turner for guidance, discussion, and comments at various stages of this project. Comments from two anonymous reviewers were very helpful in improving an earlier draft of the paper. This work was supported by the Livestock Innovation in Africa Project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPPGD922).
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