UGANDA – Consumers are finding it hard to have milk on their daily menu as prices go up.
Experts in the industry attribute the hike in prices to scarcity of supplies caused by the dry spell which intensified at the beginning of the year.
Mr Stephen Aikiriza, the Dairy Development Authority coordinator south western Uganda, a region known for the production of milk, said: “Farm-gate prices have increased; a litre now costs Shs700 up from Shs450.”
He, however, said because of this, few people are buying the milk and this has seen even the little that is produced get spoilt and be poured.
Processors have had to respond to the price change by increasing the rates too.
Talking to Daily Monitor, the Mama Omulungi Dairy Limited marketing manager, Mr Richard Kiyemba, said: “The price of milk has gone up and we have too been forced to increase our rates”.
He said originally they have been selling a litre of pasteurized milk at Shs1, 900 but this is going to be adjusted to Shs2, 000.
“The company buys a litre from the coolers at Shs800 when they factor in the other expenses like transport, processing and VAT inclusive, it translates into a hike in price,” he explained.
At Sameer Agricultural and Livestock Ltd (SALL), a source who preferred not to be mentioned for not being the rightful spokesperson of the company, said because of the scarcity of the product and its being costly at the farm-gate, they have plans to revise their rates too.
The source said they have been buying a litre of milk from the farmers at Shs650 and after processing, sell it at Shs1,800.
Ms Sarah Kibuuka, who owns a retail shop in Kireka, on the outskirts of Kampala, buys her milk from Shoprite Supermarket and each litre of Jesa Dairies cost Shs2,100 and she retails it at Shs2,500.
She, however, expressed concern saying: “Of late some brands have not been accessible, it could be because of supply reasons.”
Production: Uganda’s annual milk production stands at over 1.9 billion Litres according to Dairy Development Authority’s 2013/2014 statistics
Consumption: At least 70 per cent is marketed and 30 per cent is consumed by households.
Exports: Export value increased from about $3.4 million in 2010/11 to $14 million in 2011/2012.
Imports. The imports on the other hand decreased from about $2 million to $1.4 million under the same period.