Uganda to host continental dairy conference in September

Uganda will mid next month host the African Dairy Conference and Exhibition which is the largest African dairy event organized by the Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association (ESADA).

Bright Rwamirama, the country’s Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries/Animal Industry, told media on August 15 the conference provides a platform for key dairy industry stakeholders to showcase their products to consumers and other decision makers as well as create new markets and orient the consumers to their new innovative products.

“This conference is very meaningful in the Eastern Africa block where over 80% of the milk is produced by smallholders and therefore plays a very important role in the lives of its inhabitants,” the minister said.

The dairy sector is host to millions of businesses in Africa ranging from small scale farmers to the large milk processors.

“The dairy sector is one of the critical sectors in the region with high potential for improving food security and welfare of its people,” Rwamirama said.

The event is expected to be attended by more than 400 delegates and over 100 exhibitors from over 40 countries.

According to the minister, the objectives of the conference include highlighting opportunities for dairy sector investment in Africa with a focus on the host country, drumming-up support for the dairy industry, highlighting its importance from farm to table and promoting consumption of dairy products.

Other objectives include providing a platform for the African and global dairy community to discuss and recommend solutions to policy, regulatory and industry bottlenecks that impede trade in dairy products.

The meeting will aim at affording African dairy processors, service providers and industry suppliers a unique opportunity to showcase their products for benchmarking and trade.

In the wake of new technology, the conference will introduce African dairy practitioners and suppliers to new technologies and ideas for better efficiency and quality.

“The 16th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition, aims to focus on the multiple challenges facing the African dairy industry with the aim of maintaining and improving the industry,” the minister said.

In addition, the conference will outline the targeted measures to improve and ensure maintenance of internationally acceptable health and hygiene standards in both the primary and secondary dairy industries.

Uganda will use the conference to highlight some of the country’s investment opportunities in the dairy sector such as the high potential to increase milk production through better storage, a stronger value chain and improved breeds.

Uganda is also in need of investors in the field of animal genetics so as to improve dairy breeds through cross-breeding and artificial breeding technologies. Additionally the country needs investors in quality animal feed, commercialization of forage production, conservation and marketing.

Other areas for possible investment include; quality veterinary services; milk handling and processing equipment; cold chain transportation trucks, and agri-financing.

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