Between 1 and 4 December 2009, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) held a South-South symposium for key dairy researchers and decision-makers from East Africa and Northeast India.

The symposium -- Opportunities for transforming the informal sector in emerging dairy markets -- took place at ILRI's Nairobi campus and was attended by 25 participants from India, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

In both India and East Africa, the informal dairy sector handles 80-90% of marketed milk. India currently holds the distinction of being home to the world’s largest dairy industry.

In both these regions, the informal dairy sector is a major source of employment and offers a low-cost, nutritive product to poor consumers who cannot afford to buy formally processed, pasteurized milk.

Innovative approaches towards upgrading the informal dairy sector continue to be explored, with a view to improving the quality and safety of milk sold.

Case studies on key issues facing the informal dairy sector – including governance, quality assurance and value addition – were presented and specific strategies and recommendations developed.

This website serves as a repository of the materials presented and discussed during the symposium.