UGANDA – Ugandan government, through the country’s Dairy Development Authority, has reported its plans to utilize the newly installed Milk Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at the Entebbe Dairy Training Institute, to increase milk consumption in the country.

The Entebbe Dairy Training Institute ATMs are part of the milk processing and incubation plant at the school, estimated to process about 2000 litres of yoghurt.

The institute was established to equip dairy stakeholders with hands-on skills in dairy value addition for employment and wealth creation.

During the facilities inspection the Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Bright Rwamirama said that the ATMs are part of the new processing system that has cheese, yoghurt and Ice cream processing lines.

Rwamirama said that by introducing technology into the dairy sector, consumers will be assured of safety, accessibility, affordability and stabilization of the prices on the market.

“The ATM will go a long way in serving high population places such as schools and busy towns and through a digital interface, milk of any quantity and amounts can be purchased, making the commodity affordable to those with different financial capacities,” he noted.

According to the Dairy Development Authority, current consumption is 64 litres per person per annum, short of the recommended 200 litres per person per year by the World Health Organization.

This was an evident slight increase that DDA had approximated in 2022 due to rapid urbanization and other consumption campaigns such as the School Milk Programme. 

Despite an increase in milk production in Uganda over the past seven years, players in the milk production and marketing sector are concerned that milk consumption in the country still falls short of the recommended levels.

According to Racheal Arinaitwe, the CEO of Royal Milk Company the low milk consumption in Uganda is attributed to high production costs and taxes during the production chain.

“Milk production in Uganda faces challenges such as high production costs, which affect the pricing of the end product, and power blackouts that interfere with the milk production chain,” she said.

“Therefore, producers are forced to invest in high-quality technologies to ensure that the production process is not affected, resulting in additional costs.”

In addition to the low milk consumption, Arinaitwe noted the sector also faces stiff competition from imported milk products, which are often cheaper due to government subsidies and preferential treatment.

This has led to a decline in the demand for locally produced milk products, which affects the income of small-scale farmers who rely on milk production for their livelihood, she added.

Therefore, the government needs to provide incentives and support to local milk producers to help them compete effectively with imported milk products.

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