Mbarara. President Museveni opened a milk processing plant at Koranorya in Biharwe, Mbarara District, at the weekend and urged farmers to remain calm as government studies prices of milk on the international market.
The processing plant belongs to Pearl Dairy Farms Limited, a subsidiary of Midland Group of Companies Limited, which has been producing and exporting milk powder to COMESA countries, West Africa, India, Napal and UAE.
Next week, the factory will start producing UHT milk for the Ugandan market and the President urged farmers and suppliers, whom he said are quarrelling with investors over low milk prices, to be calm in order not to destabilise the market.
“We export much of our milk, if we overprice it, we shall lose the market,” Mr Museveni cautioned.
“We can go to the market in UK, India, China and Arab countries and establish the price. Then we can calculate the costs and know how much the exporter and producer (farmer) can take. There is nothing to quarrel about, it is a matter of fact, otherwise, we shall overprice yourself out of the market,” he added.
He also asked farmers to improve on feeding dairy cattle, saying Uganda has the capacity to produce 10 billion litres of milk annually.
The managing director of Pearl Dairy Farms Limited, Mr Devendra Seth, said the factory has the capacity to process 500,000 litres and produce 25 metric tons of milk powder per day.
Mr Seth said they buy a litre of milk from a farmer at between Shs600 and Shs900 and employ 247 workers. The country produces 2.2 billion litres of milk every year and only 800 million litres are consumed locally.