BY SAMSON OKWAKOL
KAMPALA, Uganda—Uganda Dairy Development Authority has indicated that milk production in Uganda has increased from 2.08 billion litres in 2015 to about 2.5 billion litres in 2017/18.
According to a press statement sent to this publication by Uganda Dairy Development Authority , about 80% of the total national milk produced is marketed and 20% consumed by the farming households. Only 33% of the marketed milk is processed, 67% is marketed raw.
Government of Uganda has invested in increasing milk production and productivity, reducing post-harvest milk losses through rehabilitation of Milk Collection Centers (MCC’s), enhancing milk value addition and access to milk and milk products’ markets. These initiatives have resulted into tremendous dairy subsector growth at a current rate of 8% per annum. Growth has been, and continues to be registered in milk production, milk collection and transportation, milk processing.
Milk Collection, Transportation Marketing and Processing
Uganda Dairy Development Authority said dairy farmers have been supported to form dairy cooperatives and benefit from economies of scale and increased market access. Currently, there are 219 Primary Dairy Farmers’ Cooperative Societies and 11 Dairy Farmers Unions across the country.
Marketed milk stood at 80% of the total production in 2017 and this is likely to increase further after the rehabilitation of more milk collection centers. Total rural milk collection centres are currently 461 with total installed capacity of 1,770,417 litres. The value of marketed milk had a 5% increase from USD 716 million in 2015 to USD 752 million (about UGX 2.7 trillion) in 2017/18.
Currently, Uganda has 100 operational milk processing companies (large scale, medium scale, small scale and cottages) with a total installed capacity of 2.7 million litres per day. Products currently processed include; milk powder, UHT Milk, Pasteurized Milk, Yoghurt, Butter, Ice Cream, Cheese, Ghee, Casein.
Milk and Dairy Products Exports
Dairy exports stood at US $ 60 million in 2016 and increased to approximately USD 130 million in 2017/18 while Dairy Imports dropped from USD 5.4 million to USD 5.2 million over the same period. The increase in the net exports has been as a result of increased compliance and meeting standards of Uganda’s milk and milk products on both regional and international markets due to efforts by DDA in regulation and quality assurance. The Dairy exports mainly go to EAC, COMESA countries, SADC, UAE, Nigeria, Syria, Egypt, Omen, USA, Nepal & Bangladesh. The exported dairy products include; UHT milk, ghee, casein, whey proteins, and butter oil.
Milk Consumption Benefits
According to Uganda Dairy Development Authority, milk per capita consumption in Uganda has increased from 25 liters in 1986 to 62 liters in 2017.
This however is still way below the 200 liters percapita annual consumption recommended by WHO. Milk is an excellent source of essential nutrients such as proteins, calcium, phosphorous, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins A, B6 and B12 that are easily digested by children and adults for proper development of the brain, body, strong bones, energy and good eye sight.
There is evidence associating the lack of dairy products consumption to stunting in children, increased risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity, and colon cancer.
Promotion of consumption of milk and milk products is therefore one of the key objectives of June Dairy Month celebrations.
June Dairy Month is an annual event celebrated worldwide to pay tribute to contributions of dairy farmers, dairy processors, dairy importers and exporters, and their families who work hard every day to provide fresh, whole some milk and milk products for everyone to enjoy. It also aims at promoting milk consumption.
In Uganda, Dairy Development Authority (DDA), an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) takes lead in organizing and coordinating the celebrations for June Dairy Month. This year’s theme “Gender Inclusion For Wealth And Health In Milk Production And Consumption “is geared towards acknowledging women’s significant contribution to the dairy sub sector in particular and Agricultural Sector in general and to food security and the country’s GDP. It also aims at promoting women’s economic empowerment in an effort to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls).