TANZANIA – Tanzania has projected an increase in annual milk production by 77% from the current production of 2.4 billion litres to 3.8 billion litres within a five year period.

Deogratius Mlay, an official from the Tanzania Dairy Board, says that the country has rolled out a five year strategic plan dubbed ‘Tanzania Livestock Master Plan (TLMP) 2017/18 – 2021/22’ to support local production.

The TLMP aims at increasing the national average annual milk production per animal from an average of 179 litres recorded in 2016/17 to 254 litres by 2021/22, reports Daily News.

“Productivity improvement interventions in the dairy cow production system will result in 31 percent increase in the average annualized milk productivity of a cow in traditional and improved family dairy subsystem, and a 26-percent increase in commercial specialized dairy,” Mlay explains.

The plan is not only expected improve and increased the country’s dairy production but also improve red meat production.

Currently, the East African country counts 76 milk processing facilities with varying processing capacities ranging from a production capacity of 500 litres per day to over 120,000 litres capacity per day.

With additional investments in the dairy sector, it is estimated that there could be a surplus of about 0.5 million litres of milk in 2031/32.

This is expected to provide raw material for domestic industries and export, after meeting domestic consumption requirements.

However, the country’s current milk consumption is still very low at an average per capita consumption of 20 percent or 46 litres compared to global recommended average of 200 litres.

In addition, the sector is also characterised by inconsistent milk production reflected by declining milk productions in dry seasons, which is attributed to insufficient supply of feed and pastures.

The country has recorded an increase in demand which has pushed spending on milk imports to US$12.78 million as the country local production only contributes to 21.8% of the total annual demand.

Despite being ranked second in Africa in terms of cattle population, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics shows that livestock-related activities contribute only 7.4 percent to Tanzania’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Growth in the sector is currently pinned at 2.6 per cent on an annual basis.