The latest report from Diary Development Authority (DDA) indicates that the local dairy sub sector is estimated to grow at a rate of 8-10 per cent annually, boosted by government’s efforts to build milk collection centres across the country which pay on average Shs800-Shs1200 per litre of raw milk supplied by the farmers.

According to the DDA report, in 2016, milk exports to regional neighbours like Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, South Sudan as well as the Middle East, fetched Uganda US $752 million (263.20 billion).

The report also shows that Uganda’s milk imports have gone down, due to the steady growth of the dairy sub sector. Uganda used to import most its dairy products from neighbouring Kenya which has a well-developed dairy sub sector.

Majority of the dairy farmers are in western Uganda, which has expansive savannah grasslands suitable for dairy farming.

Uganda could be collecting more milk from farmers but its dairy sub sector is disorganized, dominated by small-holder farmers who don’t have capacity to produce milk for commercial purposes.

The report says Uganda has 355 milk collection centres with total chilling capacity of 1.5 billion litres. About 219 dairy farmer cooperatives supply the collection centres with milk.

The brief report shows that 80% of the total national milk produced is marketed domestically and international, while the farming households consume 20 per cent.

The report further shows that 33 per cent of the milk marketed is processed while the remaining 67% is sold in raw form.

Milk in Uganda is traded alongside its bi-products such as butter, yogurt and ice cream, providing consumers with fats, proteins and vitamins.

This year, under Operation Wealth Creation, government targets to distribute two million head of cattle to farmers for milk production.

Despite the availability of market, Uganda’s dairy sub sector faces challenges of poor storage facility, sanitation, as well as the poor transport and telecommunication infrastructure in the rural areas.

The major milk processing companies in Uganda included the following: Brookside Dairy Limited. Jesa Farm Dairy. Pearl Dairy Farms Limited. Amos Dairies Uganda Limited. Paramount Dairies Limited. GBK Dairy Products Limited. Lakeside Dairy Limited. Rainbow Industries Limited.

In a related development the per capita milk consumption in Uganda is still low, a person consuming only 60 litres per annum as of 2016 from the 40 litres consumed in 2001.

The WHO/FAO recommended consumption is 200 litres per individual per annum.