In a press statement released today at the Uganda Media Centre, Lt Col(Rtd). Dr. Rwomirama Bright Kanyontore, Ph.D, the Minister of State for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, highlighted the remarkable growth and challenges faced by Uganda’s dairy sector. The Annual Report for the Dairy Development Authority (DDA) for the year 2022-2023 was officially launched during the event.
Economic significance of the dairy industry
The minister emphasized the significant role of the dairy industry as a major contributor to Uganda’s economy, providing livelihoods for millions and ensuring food security. The sector accounts for 6.5% of the country’s Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP). A favorable investment climate has attracted Foreign Direct Investment, fueling steady growth in the industry.
Despite reported drought in specific regions, the dairy sector witnessed a commendable 37% increase in milk production, from 2.81 billion liters in FY 2020/21 to 3.85 billion liters in FY 2022/23. The export value of milk and milk products surged from USD 102.6 million in 2021/22 to USD 264.5 million in 2022/23, marking substantial progress.
The press statement acknowledged challenges such as government closures and restrictions on dairy imports by Kenya, a significant export market. This has impacted the income of farmers and led to job losses among processors. Additionally, counterfeit drugs and acaricides have adversely affected the sector, prompting the government to roll out anti-tick vaccines to protect livestock and enhance farmers’ incomes.
Government initiatives and commitments
The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, along with the Dairy Development Authority, is actively involved in increasing production, value addition, and quality control. The Clean Milk Production Campaign has resulted in improved milk quality through the distribution of dairy equipment to cooperatives and farmers.
In response to market challenges, the Minister proposed exploring avenues to increase domestic consumption, particularly among school-going children. Milk powder processing for extended shelf life and instant market access is being encouraged. New markets in Algeria and Senegal are expected to provide alternative outlets for Ugandan dairy products.
Combatting Counterfeit Drugs: The government’s commitment to eradicating counterfeit drugs is evident through the introduction of anti-tick vaccines developed by the National Agricultural Research Organization. Once successfully trialed, these vaccines will be made available for widespread use by livestock farmers, providing a more cost-effective and efficient solution to tick-borne diseases.
Investment in livestock improvement
The Ministry, through NAGRCADE, is actively working on enhancing the quality and availability of high-yielding dairy breeds. Community breeding programs and increased accessibility to Artificial Insemination services aim to make dairy farming more profitable.
In conclusion, the Minister expressed gratitude for the commitment of the government and various stakeholders in ensuring the success and sustainability of Uganda’s dairy sector.