MALAWI – The Farmers Milk Producers Association (Fampa) from Malawi has urged the government to exempt trucks transporting raw milk from paying toll-gate fees to ensure that farmers receive fair compensation for their efforts.

Fampa chairperson Foster Mulumbe highlighted the financial challenges that milk producers face, including the rising cost of livestock feed.

He pointed out that toll-gate fees on raw milk significantly reduce farmers’ earnings, as these costs are ultimately deducted from the price processors pay them.

“ We request the government reconsider that toll-gate fees should only be charged on finished dairy products, not raw milk,” he said.

“If a processor is paying toll-gate fees based on raw milk, the price they should have paid the farmer is reduced. So, we pray that one day, the government will remove the toll-gate fee on raw milk and continue charging the fees on processed milk or finished products.”

Additionally, Mulumbe mentioned ongoing discussions with milk processors to increase the price offered for raw milk.

Raw milk is sold at an average of K401 per liter, with K2 per liter going to the association as a levy, resulting in an actual K399 per liter for the farmers.

This appeal was made during World Milk Day on June 1st, which provides a platform for milk producers to share experiences and learn from each other.

Blantyre Agriculture Development Division’s chief animal health and livestock development officer, Edwin Nkhulungo, emphasized the day’s significance in recognizing farmers’ contribution to human health through milk production.

Nkhulungo acknowledged the challenges local producers face, including high animal feed and veterinary services costs. He assured that the government is committed to supporting farmers in overcoming these obstacles to enhance milk production and ensure better incomes.

“As a government, we help farmers whenever they face problems. We know there are problems like feeding the animals, high costs, and taking care of the animals [like buying] drugs and veterinary services,” Nkhulungo explained.

“As a government, we provide many services in treating the animals and taking care of the animals in animal production. The reason is that they should benefit by having more milk.”

This year’s World Milk Day, initiated by the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2001, was celebrated under the theme ‘The significance of dairy in providing nutrition and nourishing the world,’ emphasizing the vital role of dairy in global nutrition.

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