By Umaru Kashaka
President Yoweri Museveni has urged investors to exploit Uganda’s 64% of unprocessed milk.
“Investors should exploit the 64% of our raw milk,” Museveni said on Tuesday (September 12) while officially opening the 16th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
Museveni’s speech as a chief guest at the three-day conference that kicked off on Monday, September 11, was read by the general duties minister in the Office of Prime Minister Justine Kasule Lumumba.
He noted that Uganda is now a net exporter of dairy products, namely UHT, butter, ghee, powder, cheese and casein.
Uganda, through the Dairy Development Authority (DDA) and the agriculture ministry, is hosting this largest African dairy event organised by the Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association.
It brings together sector players to share innovations and technologies, inspiring ideas and game-changing solutions for a sustainable sector.
The conference is running under the theme: African Dairy; more than just milk. This is the second time this conference has taken place in Uganda since its inception in 2005.
DDA executive director Samson Akankiza Mpiira told the conference that Uganda’s dairy sector has grown over the years and its products continue to gain demand and consumption within and beyond the borders.
“The past five years (2018-2022), our production has increased from 2.51 billion litres to 3.4 billion litres currently,” he said.
He also noted that milk collection and bulking have equally improved tremendously with a number of players such as the Government, dairy co-operatives, traders, processors and private individuals continuously investing in cold chain infrastructures.
Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze challenged dairy experts to discuss and agree on how to advise and motivate dairy farmers so as to keep producing sustainably and profitably for the market in the face of many challenges, including climate change.
“I thank all the members of the Global Dairy Federation for accepting Uganda to host this important meeting,” he said.
The minister said President Museveni has given them a target of producing 20 billion litres of milk annually.
“We can only be able to achieve this through climate-smart agriculture,” he said.
Animal husbandry state minister Bright Rwamirama said that it is imperative to emphasise that the Government remains steadfastly committed to fostering collaboration with all stakeholders, particularly investors eager to partake in the dairy sector’s journey to success.
“I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to our valued partners in the dairy industry, not only for the remarkable strides achieved within our individual countries but also for the progress we have made in elevating the status of the dairy industry,” he said.
LEAD PHOTO CAPTION: (L-R); Hon. Justine Lumumba Kasule. Minister for General Duties – OPM (centre) representing President Yoweri Museveni, receiving a gift from former Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda (right) as Agriculture Minister Frank Tumwebaze (left) looks on. Lumumba was presiding over the opening ceremony of the 16th Africa Dairy Conference at Hotel Africana on Tuesday 12th September 2023. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo