What is killing my cow? Re-assessing diseases in smallholder dairying in Tanzania

Published on 17 October 2013

Research Areas



Start Date: 1 May 2013 | End Date: 30 April 2014


The goal of this project is to provide an evidence base for prioritizing dairy animal and public health research and targeting development interventions to promote pro-poor smallholder dairy value chains in Tanzania. This work is being carried out under the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) which is led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). ILRI leads the agriculture-associated diseases theme of A4NH.

ILRI and its partners initiated a major engagement in Tanzania to generate solutions and evidence for the development at scale of pro-poor smallholder dairy value chains. Activities from several donor-funded projects are being integrated to characterize the current institutional context and technical challenges, and to begin evaluating options that will allow emerging dairy farmers and actors along informal milk marketing chains to improve their productivity and livelihoods, while increasing the supply of milk and the critical nutrients it contains to their communities and nearby urban centres.


The overall objective of the project is to assess the presence of a range of potential pathogens (production diseases and zoonoses) in smallholder dairy cattle in two research sites in Tanzania (Morogoro and Tanga) based on an in-depth diagnostic examination of serological and milk samples.

As the project develops, an additional satellite project is being initiated to explore the effectiveness of different communication mechanisms for smallholder cattle farmers in Tanzania.

Expected outcomes

  • An exhaustive inventory of pathogens found in a sample of dairy cattle from the two research sites
  • Prevalence estimates for a range of key dairy cattle diseases (including production diseases and zoonoses) in these sites
  • An assessment of the reliability of disease information collected through questionnaires and participatory epidemiology techniques
  • At least one joint peer-reviewed publication, with findings also disseminated locally

Partner institutions


  • Irish Aid
  • The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany


, , , ,

Ask a Question

You must be logged in to post a comment.