KAMPALA, Uganda–Milk processors like Fresh Diary have warned milk farmers that they will not take or buy from them Milk that doesn’t meet the required market standards.
The warning comes in the wake of reports that some milk farmers have a habit of adulterating milk by either adding water to increase on the quantity or adding some funny additives to maintain the thickness.
At a recent dairy farmer field day in Kazo, Rushere town, in Western Uganda, the Director Procurement of Milk at Fresh Dairy, John Gethi noted that they have secured milk market worth over $16m in exports and are not ready to compromise its quality.
“We have managed to secure export markets for Ugandans milk in excess of 16 million dollars, if the milk is of substandard in quality, we won’t be able to take it,” said Gethi.
He said to ensure quality production, they organized a farmer field for SouthWestern Uganda, one of the regions supplying milk to train the different actors in the value chain.
Fresh dairy is currently working with over 80 farmer groups, buying milk at sh1100 for raw milk which has grown from 80,000 liters two years ago, to 350,000 liters of milk to date. The company has paid out over Ush38b to the farmers.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, in charge of Animal Husbandry, Joy Kabatsi asked farmers to increase production so as to have enough milk for supply.
“This financial year government has set aside some money to buy small irrigation machines which are easy to operate.
“When they come to your district take advantage of them to cope even in times where there is too much drought that may affect milk production,” Kabatsi added.
The Dairy Development Authority reports that milk production increased to 2.2 billion litres by the end of 2016 from 1.5 billion litres in 2010. 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.