UGANDA – The Dairy Development Authority (DDA) has announced that the country’s first official dairy exports to Algeria are set to kick off starting October 2023.

The development comes after the country’s successful signing of a dairy trade agreement between Uganda and Algeria earlier this year.

The agreement anticipates that Uganda will export milk products valued at approximately US$500 million to the North African nation.

The announcement made by Samson Akankiza, the Executive Director of the DDA, disclosed that the initial phase of the supply will consist solely of powdered milk and has undergone Algeria’s stringent procurement procedures, which have now been completed.

“Since the government is the buyer on one side, and private companies are the sellers on the other, adhering to Algeria’s procurement procedures was essential, and all three major Ugandan dairy suppliers have successfully complied,” Mr Akankiza stated.

The three major powdered milk producers in Uganda, namely Amos Diaries, Brookside Diaries, and Pearl Diaries, are set to contribute to this groundbreaking venture.

The first shipment will comprise 120,000 metric tons of powdered milk, part of the 1.4 billion liters agreed upon in the trade agreement.

Currently, Uganda boasts an annual milk production of 4 billion liters, with expectations of further growth in the industry.

Nevertheless, the dairy sector has encountered setbacks due to a lack of a reliable market, both domestically and internationally. Domestic milk consumption in Uganda currently stands at a mere 64 liters per capita annually, far below the United Nations’ recommended 200 liters per capita.

Peter Ngaruiya, the Executive Director of the Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association (ESADA) acknowledged that while achieving optimal intraregional trade remains a challenge, significant progress has been made in enhancing the quality of dairy products within the region.

He attributed some of the trade barriers to stringent policies implemented by governments in the region.

Additionally, the executive director praised Uganda as a formidable player in the dairy sector, citing the country’s competitive advantage of low production costs compared to regional counterparts.

He emphasizes that when combined with technological advancements, Uganda’s dairy sector becomes highly profitable. However, he expresses concerns about the low domestic consumption rates, which impede profitability.

On the other hand, Khadija Nakakande, spokesperson for the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS), asserted that the government’s unwavering support for the dairy sector will contribute to further increasing milk production in the country.

She urged Ugandans to embrace milk consumption as a means of supporting local farmers and highlighted government initiatives, such as investments in milk coolers, crossbreeding programs for improved production, and support for value-added factories, to enhance the sector’s competitiveness.

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