How Global Trust Earned Uganda’s Dairy Products a 63% Increase in Exports

The rising trust in dairy products from Uganda has resulted into a positive impact on the country’s financial earnings from exports. A report from the Dairy Development Authority (DDA) issued last year said revenue from export of dairy products had risen from $131.5m in 2018 to $205m in 2020.

As if this is not enough, Uganda’s dairy sector continues to grow at an average 8% every year, with the percentage expected to improve further as the country moves to industrialise the sector.

Dr. Michael Kansiime, the DDA Executive Director, enumerates exported dairy products to include casein, whey protein powder, UHT milk and milk powder, among others.

Dairy exports from Uganda are consumed across the world, especially in UAE, Syria, Japan, Oman, the USA, Nepal and Bangladesh.

According to DDA, Uganda’s increased compliance of milk and milk products to global standards is the secret behind this success.

DDA is the government agency mandated to develop and regulate the dairy industry with a core objective to provide proper coordination and efficient implementation of all government policies.

In a brief to the agriculture minister, Kansiime explains that Uganda’s overall value of marketed milk stands at $850m per year, which is 80.2% of the total milk produced.

Although the country is working on promoting import substitution, increasing export earnings is also high on the radar. This will in the end result in the creation of employment and improved household incomes.

And DDA has another dream to become the country’s leading export earner. “The sector is one of the leading agricultural commodity export income earner second to coffee and slowly edging its way to be the leading agricultural export earner in the country,” Kansiime says.

Kansiime’s dream could become a reality, since milk production in the country has increased from 2.5 billion litres in 2018 to 2.8 billion litres in 2020. This rise is attributed to the expansion of milk collection centres across the country.

As of 2021, there were 483 milk collection centres countrywide with a total installed capacity of 1,938,522 litres.

To ensure high quality for export, DDA is rehabilitating and equipping milk collection centers, especially in central, northern and eastern regions.

Furthermore DDA is ensuring that transportation of milk from rural areas to processing plants sticks to standards.

“At the moment, there are 329 road milk tankers with capacity of 2.16 million litres on the road daily. In the same vein, milk processing is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors with 135 licensed companies which are processing with capacity of 2.8 million litres per day,” DDA says.
 In order to increase the productivity of the dairy sector, several players have put in their efforts to create a quality final product.

Heifer International is already implementing a three-year dairy value chain project codenamed Accelerate Dairy Production and Productivity (ADAP) targeting 3,500 smallholder dairy farmers in central Uganda.

The project is targeting smallholder farmers to help them produce larger quantities of higher quality milk through better access to farm inputs, extension services, breeding services, feed and fodder, skills, and knowledge on husbandry practices, and adopting technology.

This is aimed at increasing capacity utilisation of the milk processor installed capacity by 42 percent at end of project. Heifer International gave out 500 aluminum milk cans to more than 20 cooperatives and 29 pulverizers in a bid to improve milk quality.

“With the increasing climate change there is need to adopt production enhancement and quality management practices to maximise revenue in dairy,” says John Ssenyonga, the director of programmes at Heifer International.

With the government planning to industrialise the dairy sector, the world should expect high quality products from Uganda.

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