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Dairy farming, cooperatives and livelihoods: Lessons learned from six Indian villages

Gaillard C., Dervillé M.. 2022. Journal of Asian Economics, 78 : 16 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.asieco.2021.101422

India's dairy sector has emerged as the world's largest dairy producer and has enabled 70 million farmers to generate income through its rapid growth. This success is linked to broad national policy support through the Operation Flood program and the emergence of an inclusive model of cooperatives. However, the informal sector is still the marketing channel most used by dairy producers, and with the liberalization of the dairy sector, the cooperative model is also facing competition from the private sector. By surveying 244 dairy farmers in two major but heterogeneous states in India, this paper examines the inclusiveness of the sector and the impact of dairy cooperative membership on farmers' income and livelihood. The originality of the paper concerns its systematic perspective on households' assets and activities. The results indicate that cooperative membership is associated with caste membership and farmers collection centers. Better incomes are associated with membership, particularly among farmers with less land and among smallholders, who are more dependent on their dairy income to lift themselves out of poverty.

Mots-clés : coopérative laitière; production laitière; moyens d'existence; secteur agro-alimentaire; revenu de l'exploitation; inde; Élevage laitier

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