Tanzania to milk the potential of its dairy industry

Despite, rapid increase in the number of small scale milk producers and expanding demand for milk in Tanzania, marketing functions of the dairy industry seemed to be lagging. Therefore, the East African country, is making efforts to increase sales in the dairy sector to 1.5 million from the current 780,000 by year 2020.

Analysis estimated that between 1993 and 2020, the annual demand for milk and dairy products in developing countries would grow at between 3.2% and 3.5% annually, which implies that the demand will more than double by 2020. A feat Tanzania is working towards achieving.

The dairy sector is one of the significant sectors in Tanzania, with high potential for improving food security and welfare. Unlike the beef marketing system where cattle markets, holding grounds, slaughtering houses/slabs and butcheries are found in most urban and rural areas, marketing system for milk is less organized in the country, despite being the 3rd nation with largest head of cattle in Africa, Tanzania has only 30% of dairy cows.

Tanzania is a net importer of milk and milk products, and the Dairy Sector is driven by many improved dairy cattle, rapid population growth, and increasing consumption.

With the Government’s 5-year strategic plan, the proposed 1.5 million increase, will add-up the number of milk production in the country to 4 billion litres per year from the current 2.1 billion in three years.

Mr Kilongozi, chief registrar of the Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), said the increase of milk production would enable the country to begin exporting the product, pointing out that currently, the country has only two dairy factories with Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) processing plants – Azam Dairy Products and Kigamboni based Milcom Dairy Limited – can produce Long Life Milk due to UHT processing plants, hence are capable to export their products.

Pointing out that the average consumption per person should be 200 litres per year, Mr Nelson Kilongozi said “The strategic plan also aims to increase milk consumption in the country from the current 47 to 70 litres per person per year”.