DEMAND for milk is expected to increase in Tanzania from the current average of per capita consumption of 45 litres per year to at least the level that the highest milk consuming country has attained, for instance 100 litres per year.
TANGA Fresh has set up a cost-effective driving strategic plan set to empower local cattle farmers to increase milk production as experts tipping the sector growth to 3.5 per cent in three years.
The analysis estimated that between 1993 and 2020, the annual demand for milk and dairy products in developing countries including Tanzania would grow at between 3.2 per cent and 3.5 per cent annually, implying that the demand will be more than double in three years.
Demand for milk is expected to increase in Tanzania from the current average of per capita consumption of 45 litres per year to at least the level that the highest milk consuming country has attained, for instance 100 litres per year.
To increase supply ahead of demand, Tanga Fresh expanded the factory last year to a capacity of processing 120,000 litres a day from current 50,000 litres a day. This means keepers have a fresh opportunity. According to Tanga Fresh, leading in dairy production in the country, they have invested 26.5bn/- for the plant expansion.
The milk company said the current keepers, with additional training to improve their dairy skills, envisage feed the factory demand. The firm General Manager Michael Karata said that the expansion is set to increase market for dairy keepers in and beyond the region.
"We always engaged with our keepers and conduct special training as far as supply and quality assurance of the milk is concerned," Mr Karata said. The local cattle farmers and dairy stakeholders will be provided with necessary know-how on milk production both in quantity and quality including vital measures like density and acidity.
"We know by empowering our farmers it will raise the quantity and quality of the raw milk received from collection centres, since they have the capacity," he said. On top of improving their skills, Tanga Fresh set to recruit more keepers from current 12,000 to 60,000 in order to be able to feed the factory with constant milk production.
To avoid post-harvest lost, dairy keepers will be provided with necessary milking equipment to make sure quality assurance is met. Tanga Fresh Marketing Manager Ally Sechonge said that to meet milk delivery amount per day they are building dairy keeper capacities and knowledge to increase animal productions.
"We are working hard to build capacity among pastoralists in theregion to enable them supply required amount," Mr Sechonge noted. He said currently in some days farmers failed to meet the factory demand by supplying less than the amount needed.
The solution is upgrading farmers' skills, give them required equipment, and increase supplier base by recruiting more cattle keepers and giving them the capital to enable them expand. "The major challenge that we face is failure to meet the demand of milk products in the market," he said.
The challenge according to Mr Sechonge is attributed to low production of milk from the milk farmers. Through the planned strategy, Tanga Fresh will conduct training courses, field meeting and providing loans programme to farmers.
"We know by empowering our farmers we will help in the rise of the quantity and quality of the raw milk received from the milk farmers," he explained. Through the strategic plan made, the factory will increase the provision of necessary milk equipment to farmers in an effort to ensure quality assurance is met as the productions increases.
The factory was set to address the milk supply shortages. Tanga Fresh is owned 42 per cent by 24 farmers' cooperative and the remaining 58 per cent by the Netherlands investor. The factory, established in 1996, is producing fresh milk, plain and flavoured yoghurt, mozzarella cheese, butter and ghee, among other products.
Analysis of dairy and other related milk products with consumption and products trends (2016-20) indicates large number of improved dairy cattle, increase consumption and changing consumer trends as key factors in the growth of Tanzania dairy sector market.
The analysis points low production and high animal mortality rate as the biggest factors which affect the dairy market of Tanzania. The country is also a net importer of milk and milk products, but it has potential to increase production and possibly even exports if efficiency can be improved.