BY BANKERS REPORTER
Heifer International-Uganda three-years ago started a Dairy Value Chain Development Project targeting 3,500 farmers in seven districts of Central Uganda.
Ideally, the goal is to improve income and sustainability of farmers and processor (Jesa Farm Dairy Limited) through improved productivity and quality of milk.
The farmers are organized in 25 cooperatives that operate bulk milking and sell quality milk directly to Jesa Farm Dairy for further processing and marketing.
The project is funded by aBi Development and Heifer International, and implemented by Heifer Uganda in partnership with Jesa Farm Dairy.
Mona Muguma-Ssebuliba, the aBi chief executive officer, said while handling over the equipment that there was enough evidence to show that aBi has facilitated systemic change in Uganda’s dairy sector through a number of interventions that seek to increase production of sufficient, better and safe dairy products in Uganda.
At least 25 fodder processing machines, five sets (freezers, sealers, milk cans, and packaging materials) cottage industry equipment to support yoghurt production and marketing and three sets of artificial insemination kits (3-45 liquid nitrogen tanks, 3-AI guns, 3 field flask tanks) were handed to farmers and are expected to go a long way in improving household incomes.
Hon. Bright Rwamirama, State Minister for Animal Industry said the equipment will be instrumental in enhancing dairy production and productivity in the country. He noted that the initiative fits very with government strategy of commercialising agriculture and thus achieving the agro industrialisation agenda.
“The Dairy Development annual report 2020/2021 indicates that the country produces 2.81 billion litres short of the target of 3.0 billion litres. While there is significant increase in milk production, we are short of our desired target largely due to production and productivity issues.
“Critically to this is lack of dry season feeding by farmers which results in significant production drop by almost 50%. Therefore, it’s critical that farmers adopt mechanisation and other good and efficient animal husbandry practices to maximise the potential that the dairy sector provides. Processors like Jesa dairies and others are expanding their processing capacity an indication that there are more opportunities for you farmers and others value chain actor.”
“Our funding to dairy value chain has created employment, increased net income at the enterprise level, and increased volumes of milk collected, translating into increased incomes of dairy farmers,” she said, noting that all this success has been due to investments in the purchase & installation of more than 160 state-of-art milk coolers and other accessories and 10 road tankers, particularly in south western Uganda.