Abstract for: Dynamic Assessment of Rural Dairy Cooperative Feasibility to Improve Livelihoods in South-Central Mexico

An SD model of biophysical and socioeconomic processes represents the aggregate community goat flock and a processing and marketing cooperative in highland communities near Xalapa, Mexico. Developed through a group model building process with researchers from Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias, the model is used to assess strategies to increase net income from caprine production through cooperative processing of aged cheeses. Our analyses indicate that manufacture of goat milk products by the cooperative could increase community net income from caprine activities under a variety of environmental and market conditions, including significant demand shocks—if these shocks occur after the cooperative is fully operational. These analyses also indicate potential risks and factors that could limit cooperative success: market size and reliability, cooperative management policies, production costs, and flock composition and productivity.