Dairy farmers receive quality milk tools

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The government through Dairy Development Authority (DDA) has handed over milk equipment to dairy farmers from over 50 cooperative groups in 37 districts as part of the cleaner milk production campaign which aims at enhancing the quality of milk during production, storage, and transportation.

While handing over the equipment to the farmers in Kampala on August 15, the State Minister for Animal Industry, Mr Bright Rwamirama urged farmers to use the equipment to ensure production of quality and standard milk which can ably compete on both local and international markets.

Mr Rwamira emphasised that many dairy farmers across the country continue to incur losses due to the use of substandard equipment like plastic jerrycans and buckets which sometimes contaminate the milk, making it unsafe for human consumption or factory use.

“In 2020, we embarked on the clean milk production campaign where we give out recommended milk equipment and pasture seeds to the farmers to increase milk production as well as boosting the milk quality,” Mr Rwamirama said.

He added; “Therefore, after receiving this equipment, I am very sure that there will be a continuous improvement in the milk production systems and our milk will effectively compete at both local and regional markets.”

The equipment distributed to the farmers includes; 252 milk cans, 176 milking buckets, and 86 milk scoopers.

On top of the equipment, at least 15 cooperatives in Wakiso, Kampala, and Mpigi have received pasture seeds such as Chloris gayana grass, Lab lab grass, and Centrosema grass, which is a source of protein for the animals.

Mr Samson Akankiza, the Executive Director of DDA said the tools should be used as demos by farmers so that they are able to buy standard equipment used in milk production, storage, and processing.

“Giving of this equipment is a demonstration that milk should be handled in a clean way using the utensils that are food grade, similar to those that we have been distributing to the farmers since 2020 when the clean milk production campaign was launched,” he said.

“DDA cannot supply enough equipment for our sector, but we always give out a few tools as demonstration to our farmers on what is good for milk handling, if we are to keep the required standards at all market levels,” he added.

Uganda’s milk production currently stands at 3.4 billion litres of milk annually with an average milk production of 4.8 litres per cow. While dairy exports increased from $92.4m in FY 2021/2022 to $102m in the last financial year, according to the animal industry minister.

“The exports are also estimated to rise to $150m in this financial year, this is because we have attracted new markets in the United States, Somalia, Algeria, and many others which are still in the pipeline,” Mr Rwamirama said.

Speaking on behalf of the equipment beneficiaries, Ms Deborah Mulumba, a farmer from Nakasongola commended the diary authority for the inputs saying that they will be key in spurring development in milk production.

However, she also noted that; “farmers in the rural areas are still faced with challenges of inadequate storage facilities, preservation systems, and marketing. We depended so much on middlemen who at times exploited us in terms of farm milk prices.”

She urged the ministry to intervene and solve the challenges.

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