Contribution of Dairy Products to Farm Household Nutrition in Addis Ababa and Hawassa-Dilla Milk Sheds in Ethiopia

Animal sourced food; Dairy product; Milk consumption; Ethiopian traditional dairy products


April 5, 2022


Background: Consumption of traditional dairy products is a common practice in Ethiopia. However, there are limited evidences that show factors that may attribute to differences to the contribution of dairy products to family nutrition. A desegregation of factors by intra-household factors, farming systems, and milk sheds are necessary.
Objective: This study was aimed at assessing the contribution of dairy products to household nutrition, and also compared the two major milk sheds in Ethiopia, namely, the Addis Ababa and Hawassa-Dilla.
Materials and Methods: A cross sectional household survey was conducted in two purposively selected districts from each of the two milk sheds (Wachale and Angolela Tera districts from Addis Ababa) and Arsi Negelle and Dalle districts from Hawassa-Dilla). Four kebeles (the smallest administrative units) from each district were selected, followed by a random selection of 320 farm households owning dairy cows. The survey was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires.
Results: The study revealed that the two milk sheds were significantly (P < 0.001) different in the amounts of milk produced at the household level. In Hawassa-Dilla milk shed the proportions of milk used for family consumption and home processing were 29.50% and 42.70%, respectively. However, in the Addis Ababa milk shed, 66.54% of the milk produced was sold out as raw milk. Households at Wachale (15%), Angolela (18.8%), and Dale (10.3%) districts ranked dairy products, crop-based foods, and a combination of both as the essential food groups to the family food, respectively. About 21.6% and 11.9% of the households in Addis Ababa and Hawassa-Dilla milk sheds, respectively, had year-round access to milk and dairy products for household consumption. Milk is most commonly given to children under five-years of age in both milk sheds. Other foods sourced from animals such as beef, fish, chevon, poultry were consumed rarely and appeared only on certain occasions and holidays.
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that dairy products are the most commonly consumed Animal Source Foods (ASFs) by the farm households in both milk sheds, which is an integral part of the food groups. Keeping the intra-household and district level differences, it was observed that the Addis Ababa milk shed is more accessible to raw milk markets; hence the proportion of milk sold out as raw milk is higher, and the proportion of milk that is traditionally processed into other dairy products is much less than that from farmers in the Hawassa-Dilla milk shed. The information generated in this study will help stakeholders to design a program that can best balance between market access/family income and family nutrition in the two milk sheds.