President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has appealed to dairy farmers to put more emphasis on producing casein and powdered milk in order to benefit from the lucrative international market.
The President made the appeal while meeting a group of dairy farmers from Kazo and Kiruhura districts at Karo Primary School in Nshwere, Kiruhura District.
“Shifting focus from liquid milk to processed products for export is crucial. This is something that you must take seriously,” stated President Museveni, highlighting the products’ potential for longevity and better prices in global markets.
Acknowledging Uganda’s improvement in milk production to the current 5 billion litres annually, the President emphasised that exploring the international demand is essential.
“We need to meet the external market requirements. Liquid milk is heavy in nature and very costly for exportation, but if you take time and process it into powdered milk, it becomes light and less expensive, I can assure you,” he urged.
Reflecting on past successes in the dairy industry, President Museveni lauded the transformation achieved by farmers who embraced strategic changes, including zero grazing.
He further revealed that Uganda’s dairy industry has grown tremendously, and it was time to tackle the challenge of insufficient market for milk products.
“I am very glad that a section of Banyankore in 1966 heard our message even when we were young, and we were talking to our elders. We told them to stop shifting from one place to another in a bid to run away from diseases of foot and mouth and ticks; they listened, and now they are earning a lot. We also advised them to embrace zero grazing other than free range; that worked perfectly for them. Today, I want you to look at the bigger picture, which is currently the external market,” he said.
President Museveni also underscored the need for dairy farmers to prioritise value addition while expressing optimism about scientists’ efforts to develop an anti-tick vaccine, a potential game-changer for livestock health.
“I am convinced that this new drug is going to be effective. If it succeeds, it will be openly and officially legalised for public use,” he added.
President Museveni also stressed that local government officials in the country should take charge of sensitising the communities about environmental protection.
On his part, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, shared a positive development about the locally developed Anti-tick vaccine’s efficacy, saying it stands at an impressive 88%.
“I want to inform you the farmers that the final trials of the vaccine have been conclusively done and the vaccine stands at 88% efficacy. This is much higher than the only vaccine from Cuba which was commercialised at 50 %,” he said.
The meeting was also graced by the Bishop of North Ankole Diocese, Rev. Canon Stephen Namanya, the Member of Parliament of Nyabushozi County, Hon. Wilson Kajwengye, Dairy Development Authority- Executive Director Mr. Samson Akankiza, among others.