Milk boom slows down, supply to stay stable
Posted Tuesday, February 5 2013 at 02:00
Supply still good. Although the milk harvest season is coming to a close, industry players believe supply is still stable even though prices are experiencing slight increases.
With the harvest season coming to a close, dairy sector players are keeping fingers crossed, pondering on what the future holds. Already farm gate prices are moving northwards rising to between Shs450 and Shs500 per litre. With big plays looking at the same market, household consumers might be left without much option. Three months ago, a litre of milk sold for Shs300 in most parts of the cattle corridor [South-Western].
However, Mr Steven Aikiriza, the Uganda Diary Development Authority’s principal quality control and monitoring officer, told Prosper that the situation was still well within control. He said: “Although it is not raining here (Western Uganda) there is no shortage of milk yet.”
“What seems evident is that the number of players in the industry has increased but production remains low.”
UDDA estimates that up-to 300,000 litres of milk is marketed in the cattle corridor areas of Kiruhura District alone.
Recently Mr William Matovu, the Heifer country manager, told Prosper that Uganda’s dairy sector grows by 3 per cent every year and produces up to 1.4 billion litres of milk.
Worth noting is that two more players have joined the diary sector, including Pearl and Emos—all based in the Western part of Uganda.
These will add to the existing seven large scale processors each with installed capacity of bove 5,000 litres per day.
Uganda produces a range of dairy products including pasteurized milk, UHT milk, yoghurt, ice cream, sour butter, sweet cream, ghee and cheese both for local consumption and export.
Although Uganda’s per capita consumption of milk (kg/year) has increased over the last ten years from 40 litres per annum in 2001 to 50 litres as of 2009, it is still below the WHO recommended 200 litres per annum.
Uganda’s milk production has in the last 15 years been distabilised by droughts with the worst coming between 2010 and 2011.
State minister for Agriculture, Bright Rwamirama recently said the Dairy Development Authority together with the ministry of agriculture, was conducting trainings to improve farmers productivity and capacity.
“The rise in milk production is a result of government strategies. We would like to see more regions such as the North and East which were affected by war begin producing milk.”
Those who lost animals during the war have been restocked and government will introduce the heifer project where one heifer will be given to a household for income generation,” Mr Rwamirama said.