In a recent event held over the weekend in Kabale District, the government, through the National Agriculture Advisory Services (Naads), unveiled its support for the dairy industry by equipping dairy cooperative societies in six districts with milk processing and cooling facilities.
This initiative is aimed at promoting value addition in the dairy sector to enhance profitability.
The revelation came during the commissioning of a milk value addition processing facility at the Kigezi Dairy Cooperative Society in Kitumba Sub-county.
Mr. Bright Rwamirama, the State Minister for Animal Industry, emphasized that this endeavor aims to enhance the economic prospects of dairy farming.
The beneficiary districts include Kabale, Kazo, Kiruhura, Kyankwanzi, Bushenyi, and Kiboga.
Mr. Rwamirama revealed that the milk processing plant at Kigezi Dairy Cooperative Society Limited, which cost Shs1.1 billion, will enable the production of yogurt, cheese, ghee, and pasteurized milk for both health and economic benefits.
To maintain quality standards, officials from the Dairy Development Authority are actively involved.
Dairy farmers were also advised to focus on improving the nutrition of their cows and effectively managing pests and diseases to maximize profits.
This advice aligns with the government’s efforts to boost the quality of dairy products.
The Chairperson of Kigezi Dairy Cooperative Society Limited, Mr. Benjamin Turyahikayo, shared that they currently receive an average of 3,500 liters of milk daily, although this volume decreases during the dry season.
They possess three coolers with a total capacity of 13,000 liters, supplying milk processors, small-scale processors, and small dairies in the western region.
Furthermore, they sell an average of 2,000 liters of milk daily in the local market.
Mr. Turyahikayo expressed gratitude to the government for selecting them as beneficiaries of the value addition equipment.
He disclosed their intentions to commence full-scale production in the coming month, contingent on obtaining operational funds from the Uganda Development Bank Limited.
They have applied for a loan of Shs120 million to facilitate this endeavor.
Despite these positive developments, Mr. Turyahikayo highlighted certain challenges they face, including the need for a 5,000-liter cooler at the factory to handle delivered milk and a refrigerated truck for marketing their products.
Additionally, they require approximately Shs160 million to complete remaining construction work, including the construction of a modern fence at the factory.