TANZANIA – The 18-year old private dairy processing firm, ASAS Dairies is seeking to boost milk consumption in Tanzania through efforts including healthy living promotions in the country.
The company has reported a 20% increase in milk production for livestock keepers who feed their dairy cows with ingredients for the past one year.
Increasing milk production is geared towards meeting national consumption needs, improve the health of Tanzanians while creating jobs for small scale livestock keepers in the areas.
According to Tanzania Dairy Board, milk consumption remains as low as 47 liters per capita per year despite production rising by about 400 million litres between 2003 and 2017.
Milk production is estimated to stand at 2.4 billion litres a year from about 2 billion litres in 2003.
The endeavour involves encouraging livestock keepers to take their milk for processing instead of utilizing the product the traditional way that seems insecure and unsafe.
To this effect, Asas has employed extension officers in a bid to raise production and increase Tanzania’s average milk production.
School milk programme
Asas has taken the initiative to promote the nutritional benefits of milk through free distribution of milk in primary schools across areas where it operates.
“Through our school milk programme, we recently issued up to 46,000 litres for free milk to a total of 73 schools in Rungwe and Busokelo.
46 of the schools are in Rungwe while 27 in Busokelo,” said Lipita Mtimila, the Asas Dairies’ national coordinator.
Concerns have been that the country’s local milk processors which are capable of processing 700,000 litres daily were unable to meet the local demand due to a shortage of milk.
ASAS Dairy is part of the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), a pioneering initiative of the Government of Tanzania to mobilize US$2.1 billion in new private sector agribusiness investments.
Tanzania has the third largest cattle population in Africa, after Ethiopia and Sudan but marketing functions of the dairy industry in the country seems to be lagging behind.
UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) recommends 200 liter per capita consumption of the dairy product a year, something Asas is pushing to achieve.