Business Management for Tropical Dairy Farmers


Download by chapter

Gives smallholder dairy farmers the business management skills they will need to remain sustainable.

Most countries in South-East Asia have established smallholder dairy farming industries through social welfare and rural development programs to provide a regular cash flow for poorly resourced farmers. These farms are now being treated as accepted rural industries and require a more business-minded approach based on changes to farm profitability. + Full description

Business Management for Tropical Dairy Farmers gives smallholder dairy farmers the business management skills they will need to remain sustainable. Drawing on detailed financial analyses of smallholders in countries such as Pakistan, Thailand and Malaysia, it shows how to budget cash inputs to match cash outflows during different seasons of the year, and how to invest wisely in improving cattle housing and feeding systems.

If farmers make greater use of formats and structures for farm costs and returns, it will increase their awareness of the relative importance of all their financial inputs in terms of cost of production per kilogram of milk produced on the farm. It will also allow them to make more meaningful and timely decisions by correctly costing planned changes to their routine farming practices.

The book will also be of use to support organisations to more clearly define the key drivers of profit on smallholder farms, and to government departments and national dairy organisations to routinely evaluate and update their industry policies.

- Short description


No longer available in a print edition.


"For those working on behalf of smallscale dairy farmers in South and South East Asia, this practical, experience-based guide is strongly recommended."
New Agriculturalist, January 2010



  • Demonstrates how small scale dairy farms can make profits
  • Presents various methods to determine cost of production and takes all the costs of dairy farming into account including imputed costs such as family labour or depreciation
  • Gives concise summaries of various key aspects of production technology, such as feed and herd management
  • Introduces concepts such as marginal responses and partial budgets
  • Discusses methods to recognise and diagnose poor farm profitability

CSIRO Publishing would like to thank the Crawford Fund whose generous financial support made the publication of this work possible.


John Moran is a senior scientist with the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria where he is deeply involved with improving the profitability of cattle producers in the dairy and beef industries. Since 1999, he has initiated and conducted training programs on small holder dairy production to farmers, advisers and policy makers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and East Timor. His books include Tropical Dairy Farming, Calf Rearing, Heifer Rearing and Forage Conservation, and he has also published more than 200 research and extension articles and written several farmer manuals on cattle nutrition.