CAMEROON – Cameroon’s milk production has seen a significant uptick, with a 5% year-on-year increase from January to August 2023, reaching 110,374 tonnes, according to data provided by the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Animal Industries (MINEPIA).

Minister Taïga attributed this positive trend to various government measures aimed at fostering the development of the sector.

However, despite the increase, Cameroon continues to grapple with an annual production deficit of approximately 120,000 tonnes of milk.

To address this shortfall, the government has implemented measures to boost local production, including the acquisition of 495 dairy cows from France between 2020 and 2023.

These cows, belonging to the Montbéliarde breed, are known for their high-quality milk production and adaptability to challenging climatic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Livestock Development Project (Prodel), financed by the World Bank, supports this initiative intending to increase local milk production.

The government hopes that these efforts will reduce the need for costly imports of dairy products, which currently amount to nearly 20 billion FCFA per year.

Market research forecasts a modest growth of 0.2% year on year in Cameroonian milk production, reaching 250,950 metric tons by 2026.

This reflects a gradual increase from 248,020 metric tons in 2021. Since 1966, the country has experienced a steady rise in milk production, with an average annual growth rate of 0.2%.

In 2021, Cameroon was ranked 113th globally in terms of milk production, and it aims to enhance its standing in the coming years.

The country faces challenges such as a rising cost of dairy products, with a 10.7% price increase reported in 2022, expected to persist in the double digits by the end of the 2023 fiscal year, according to the National Institute of Statistics.

Nestlé, with its popular brand Nido, continues to be a key player in Cameroon’s dairy industry, solidifying its leading position.

The demand for dairy products and alternatives in Cameroon primarily centers around retail channels, with small local grocers and supermarkets dominating retail value sales.

The future outlook for the dairy sector in Cameroon appears promising, with a steady increase in both retail and foodservice volume sales anticipated. The implementation of an import-substitution policy in the dairy sector is expected to contribute positively to its future growth.