A number of African countries experienced since the mid 1980s a process of market liberalization that was expected to increase smallholders' access to inputs and outputs markets through the entry of private players. The effect on production, through uptake of improved technologies is however unclear. This paper aims at better understanding the dynamics of dairy technology uptake using a rich dataset of 874 households surveyed at two points of time. Using panel data enables to show the importance of differentiating 'permanent adopters' and 'temporary adopters'. Farmers with large land holdings are those who are able to have improved cattle at the two points of time, while those with smaller land size may not be able to maintain their animals on farm, either due to cash or land constraint. This has important policy implications in light of the current land policy reform that may introduce a lower ceiling to land size. Market liberalization has contrasting effects on dairy technology uptake. Results show that availability of formal milk marketing outlets has a positive effect on farmers' decision to keep improved cattle while at the same time increased level of inputs like concentrates feeding is found in areas with fewer formal marketing outlets. Given the current dynamic nature of the milk market, farmers adopt different strategies and more work is needed to better comprehend the relationship between market liberalization and dairy intensification.