Prosper

Milk demand outstrips supply due to low yields

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Milk fetched in a bucket.

Milk fetched in a bucket. Demand for the commodity is on the rise yet available figures show that its production has dropped. FILE Photo 

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Posted  Tuesday, February 18   2014 at  02:02

In Summary

Price increment. A litre of milk (farm-gate price) costs between Shs700 to Shs750, up from Shs600 to Shs650.

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As demand for milk exceeds supply, farmers are worried of low earnings following the current dry spell that has reduced harvested volumes.

Experts in the industry say that harvests are still low in some of the producing areas.
Dairy Development Authority Coordinator for South Western region Stephen Aikiriza says: “Despite the areas receiving rain in the months between October to December, it didn’t reach the desired intensity.”

As a result, areas of Isingiro, Bukanga-Kamwema, Endizi Sub-county, parts of Kiruhura and Lyantondde did not feel the intensity of the rain, thus the low harvest.
Mr Aikiriza adds: “As these areas were getting to terms with the situation, they were caught up with the current dry spell which has left many farmers with low supplies.”

Price
In spite of this, the prices of milk have slightly increased by Shs100. Traders sell a litre of milk between Shs700 to Shs750, up from Shs600 to Shs650.
However, the current price trend is lower than what the farmers and traders got between May and September last year when a litre reached at Shs1, 000 at the farm-gate and Shs2,000 at the supermarket.

Mr Aikiriza says that with all that is happening, DDA is sensitising farmers on how to cope during the dry-spell and unpredictable times.

dnakaweesi@ug.nationmedia.com