TANZANIA – Tanzania has witnessed a substantial surge in milk production volume, reaching an impressive 3.6 billion litres by the year 2023.

According to a report from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the increase marks an improvement from the 2.2 billion liters recorded during the 2020/21 period.

The ministry attributed the milk production increase to the efforts of the Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), as highlighted by Professor Daniel Mushi, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries.

Professor Mushi announced this achievement during the opening remarks of a special meeting convened to introduce the School Milk Feeding Program (SMFP).

The meeting, held in Dodoma Capital City over the weekend, also saw the official handover of specialized booths intended for the distribution of milk in schools as part of the envisaged program.

Speaking at the event, Prof. Mushi emphasized the collaborative efforts between the government, the parent ministry, and TDB in introducing high-yield crossbreed dairy cows to farmers across the country.

“These efforts also incorporated fruitful working initiatives by the parent ministry and TDB to introduce best crossbreed dairy cows to the dairy farmers across the country,” he said.

“A significant aspect of this initiative involves the procurement of 3,160 foundation stock cows and the introduction of improved bulls in state-owned livestock farms, contributing significantly to the surge in milk production.”

In addition, he noted that efforts were also directed toward enhancing the country’s livestock ecotypes and fostering sustainable agricultural practices.

Dr. George Msalya, the Registrar of the Tanzania Dairy Board, emphasized the inclusive approach adopted in developing the school milk feeding program, involving key stakeholders to ensure comprehensive planning and implementation.

Patrick Codjia, Head of Nutrition at UNICEF, also underscored the program’s significance in enhancing nutrition levels among students, thereby improving their overall health and cognitive development.

The school milk feeding program, expected to consume up to 15 billion Tanzanian shillings over five years, aims to benefit students across 500 schools nationwide.

The rollout plan outlines the gradual expansion, with 100 schools targeted for implementation in the 2023/2024 period, followed by an additional 100 schools annually over the subsequent five years.

Stakeholders involved in shaping the Action Plan for Implementation of the School Milk Program in Tanzania (2023-2028) include various governmental bodies, educational institutions, and development agencies.

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