Lato launches initiative to triple milk farmers’ production, incomes

Pearl Dairy Farms Limited, the manufacturers of Lato dairy products, has launched a new initiative called “Project Prosperity”  that among others will help triple milk farmers’ production and  income.

Project Prosperity will act as a  gateway to deliver this connection and plans to launch an agri-fintech platform to digitize the initiative and  will help identify the neediest farmers and connect them with willing institutions ready to help.

The project team has already collected data for 1,000 dairy farmers in Uganda and is delivering a pilot program to finalize the learnings about basic challenges and hidden opportunities before launching the digital application.

According to Amit Sagar, the CEO Pearl Dairy Farms Limited, Africa’s population is growing at a terrible speed, doubling every 15 to 20 years which means milk consumption is growing.

“Therefore the increase in population means the markets are growing and we need to increase capacity. With this project, we will be able to  now double our capacity in the next year so that we can cater to this growing demand,” Sagar said.

He said the price of milk has in the past few years and this means  tripling the income for farmers.

“That has effectively tripled the income because they’re getting more for the same litre of milk. Now what we want to do is we want to work with farmers to release the cost of production. Because we cannot keep increasing the price of milk because that means we have  become uncompetitive when we are exporting. So now our goal that we’ve now normalized the price of milk to a fair price is to now take the cost of production down on the farm. That’s what basically why we’ve got a separate project for that,” the Pearl Dairy Farm CEO said.

The lost opportunity in Uganda’s dairy industry is concerning since farmers lose up to 15,000 Ugandan shillings per cow per day.

Improved yields would bring prosperity to farming families, create more interest in farming for future generations and triple their income.

According to Akash Kumar, the Co-founder for Pearl Dairy Farms an farmer in produces an average of 5 litres of milk per day whereas elsewhere, an average farmer produces about 15 to 20 litres per day.

“So, the gap is very obvious, and it is huge and when there is a gap, we as processors feel it is our responsibility to address it. So that’s how Project Prosperity will operate is to bring international expertise and make a pool of international expertise for people,” Kumar said.

He said the initiative will help triple the production as well as income

“ You know, wealth brings prosperity to his household. And that is why we call it “Project Prosperity.First of all, we need affordable capital. We need to educate the farmer. In terms of priority, how should his investment d to educate the farmer. In terms of priority, how should his investment go? So let’s say a specific farmer has cattle that have to walk long distances to go to a water source. We also bring our technical expertise to them. So, our goal is very simple. If I’m a farmer, I deliver, and my cow delivers five litres. How can that same cow delivers 20 litres? But it won’t happen in day one. You know, it’ll take time. So, the five will become eight. Eight will become 12. 12 will become 15.”

“So, if you bring the water source to the farmer, he will be closer to the cattle. Then they don’t lose. So, you know, straightforwardly, there is a yield enhancement. Then there is quality pasture. What do you feed the cow? Are you providing cow protein and that technical expertise? Unfortunately, not enough work is being done to provide the farmer with that technical expertise. So, we, this project, will do a simple thing, which is to say, if you are a farmer, we are working on a technical, technology-based application that will tell us which farmer needs what kind of investment.”

According to Kumar, the target is to at least triple the annual income for the farmer in the next two to ten years .




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