Govt touts investment in dairy industry

Govt touts investment in dairy industry

MINISTER for Livestock and Fisheries, Mashimba Ndaki has said it is critical for investors to prioritize productive areas such as livestock and fisheries for the country to export milk and other dairy products.

He said many challenges in the dairy industry can be handled to ensure adequate milk supply at the production level.

The minister said this in Dodoma while delivering the Tanzania Dairy Board's (TDB) Performance Report to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.

"When only a few people invest in these industries, it impacts us in a variety of ways; in fact, enough investment in the dairy industry is required to enhance output and export capability," he stated.

Mr Ndaki stated that the government has encouraged pastoralists to join cooperatives as a means of ensuring that they produce and collect milk in a formal manner for use in the country's dairy processing plants.

According to the minister, the country's livestock keepers produce three billion litres of milk each year, but only 74.3 million litres of milk are processed, leaving much milk without guaranteed markets, a very bad trend for the country's dairy industry.

The Registrar of the Dairy Board Dr George Msalya said that 80 per cent of the milk produced in the country is not in the formal system and that much  work is needed to get it into the system for quality verification before it is used in the country's milk processing industry.

Despite the fact that the board has been taking various measures to assure higher milk consumption in the country, he explained that the dairy industry's contribution to the national economy is still limited.

The Committee's Chairperson, Dr Christine Ishengoma, was of the view that pastoralists must modify their ways and adopt modern farming with fewer cows capable of producing more milk.

She stressed the necessity of having plans and statistics in place to determine the actual amount of milk produced in the country by indigenous dairy cattle breeds and improved cattle breeds.

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