TANZANIA – The Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB) has constructed eight ultra-modern Milk Access Points (MAPs) in various primary and secondary schools in the Mbeya and Morogoro regions.

The initiative is part of the preliminary implementation of the eagerly-awaited School Milk Programme (SMP), set to commence before the end of January 2024.

The project, a collaboration between the TDB, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, and key stakeholders including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and milk processors, is designed to enhance milk storage and safety facilities in schools.

The MAPs, worth 40 million Tanzanian Shillings upon completion, will be equipped with modern amenities such as milk refrigerators.

Dr. George Msalya, Registrar of the TDB, highlighted the board’s efforts to secure additional funds and support to extend this vital service to more schools across the country.

Under the SMP, the initial focus is on reaching 100 schools during the first phase, with plans to increase the number of beneficiary schools each year for the next five years, targeting 625 schools by 2027.

The TDB also aims to roll out milk access points in 134 schools across eight regions, including Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mwanza, Morogoro, Ruvuma, Tanga, Arusha, and Kilimanjaro.

For instance, in Kilimanjaro, a partnership with Galax Food and Beverages Ltd involves the production of small-sized processed yogurt milk sachets, marketed to pupils at an affordable price of 500 Tanzanian Shillings.

Dr. Msalya acknowledged financial constraints as a challenge limiting the program’s intended scope and quality.

He stated that the SMP requires at least 15 billion Tanzanian Shillings to run for a minimum of five years, benefiting students in 500 schools nationwide.

The milk products distributed under the program will include processed milk, such as pasteurized, UHT, cultured milk, or yogurt, depending on the area’s infrastructure.

The quantity provided will be 150mls to 200mls, with parents encouraged to contribute financially for their children to enjoy milk during break time.

Milk feeding programs have been a part of Tanzania since the early 2000s, reaching a peak of 125 schools and 99,000 children in recent years.

Despite the progress, the program faces challenges related to coverage, access to dairy products, and stakeholder involvement, according to Dr. Msalya.

 

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