Agricultural minister Frank Tumwebaze has urged dairy farmers to focus on producing quality milk products to be able to feed the new secured markets.
Tumwebaze notes that farmers should stop worrying about markets as they have secured markets in countries like Algeria among others.
Uganda’s milk production stands at 2.7billion litres per year more than the country’s consumption capacity that stands at 62 litres per capita. This is far below the 200 litres recommended by the World Health Organization.
As a result, farmers have been struggling to access markets to sell their surplus after neighbouring Kenya imposed 16 % VAT on milk imports from Uganda in 2019. But with the new development from the ministry of agriculture, Uganda’s dairy Farmers should prepare to start supplying new markets. Farmers have been warned on maintaining the quality of milk.
Tumwebaze urges farmers to manage quality standards so as to sell in all markets;
“Algeria is opening a huge market. So, the question of the market will be resolved as we go along. Manage quality standards and we shall sell in whichever market opens up,” he said.
Tumwebaze who was inaugurating a new board at the dairy development authority noted that with the new market, the conflict between Uganda and Kenya on milk exportation will be no more as the excess will be sold elsewhere.
“We are not producing only for one country. What is important is for the farmers to get it right, and manage their costs of production.”
Milk as a household consumable is currently experiencing an increase in price, at least for areas around Kampala – a development that sits well with the agriculture minister.
“The price going up is a good one for me I should celebrate it, it’s not a problem, it is a problem for you Kampala people who do not farm. So, let it go up and you pay the farmers.
Relatedly, the Ministry of Agriculture has put measures in place to vaccinate all cattle in the 27 districts under quarantine due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
Rwamirama says they have “mobilised money to make sure we vaccinate in the affected areas, high-risk areas and transit areas”.
Uganda’s milk production earnings have been on a steady rise only coming third after coffee and fish. $205 million was fetched from milk exports in 2020, albeit with less corresponding incomes to the ordinary farmer.