By Vision Reporter
Uganda earned sh3.8Trillion from raw milk production in 2021 /2022 financial year compared to sh3.01Trillion the previous year.
Overall, milk production rose to 3.22 billion liters from 2.8 billion in the same financial year, the executive director Dairy Development Authority, Akankiza Samson Mpiira, said.
Releasing the report on the performance of the authority for period under review at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala on Friday, Akankiza attributed the increment in production to the promotion of dairy breeds that are well adapted to the different milk sheds in the country.
He explained that working with the National Animal National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank, they identified breeds like the New Jersey for the Northeast milk shed, which feed less and can withstand prolonged drought but also gives more liters of milk.
For the Midwest, Akankiiza explained that they promoted breeds like the Friesian breeds that perform better in cooler environments.
Other factors that contributed to the increased production according to Akankiiza are continuous training of dairy farmers on good dairy management practices, feed preservation, and provision of equipment to prevent losses at harvest level among other interventions.
In the same financial year, 79 dairy farmer groups were trained and 88 cooperatives across the country to enhance milk production.
Of these, 15 dairy cooperatives and 22 farmer groups were supported with dairy farming inputs such as milking machines, milking cans, chuff cutters, milking buckets and pasture seed.
To further increase production, he said more attention would be shifted to the northeast milk shed, composed of districts in Teso, Karamoja and parts of Mbale, addition it contributed the largest percentage of milk production.
Eastern region produced 606,938,323 liters of milk, Northern produced 296,009,384, Karamoja produced 275,218,944 liters while western produced 1,047,562,639 liters and central produced 982,076,584 liters of milk in the year under review, according to the report.
Performance on the export market
Dairy exports increased from $92.4m (sh3.7b) to $102.6m (sh402b) in 2020/2021 financial year.
New destinations for Uganda’s milk include the United States of America and Somalia. Other exports destinations include East Africa community, COMESA countries, Japan, India, Oman and Ethiopia.
He explained that the more exported commodities include UHT Milk, Butter, Casein that is a type of protein extracted from milk used mainly by food processors, milk power, whey protein, another water soluble protein extracted from milk used as a food supplement for especially athletes as an alternative to milk, cheese among others.
Although the country registered, an increase in milk production Consumption remains low at 62litres per person per year, compared to 200 liters, recommended by the World Health Organization.
To increase consumption, the dairy authority conducted sensitization campaigns, through local radio stations like Etop in Soroti, TV West and Radio West and Community radio in Kyegegwa.
Other campaigns were taken to three hospitals, which include Ishaka Adventist Hospital, Mbarara regional referral hospital and Bushenyi health center IV.
In East Africa, Kenya is the number one producer of milk in the region with 4 billion liters, Uganda 3.2 billion litres, Tanzania at 2.7 billion litres while Rwanda, Burundi and S.Sudan combined produced 2.7 billion liters.