BY VALENTINE OFORO, DODOMA
THE Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB) has set aside at least 200m/- to implement a project for the construction of four major Milk Collection Centers (MCC) in an effort to improve the performance of the vital economic sector in the country.
The milk collection centre is designed for the dairy farmers to transport their raw milk to be cooled in a bulk tank. First, the milk collection centre strains the milk into the tank to remove impurities, and from the tank, the collection centre pumps the milk through a filter to the cooling tank. The cooler has an agitator to speed the cooling and prevent the development of a cream layer.
The Registrar of Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB) Dr. George Msalya told East Africa Herald during an interview that the envisaged MCC will be installed at Mkuranga, Rufiji and Karagwe districts, as well as Kiluvya ward of Kisarawe district in the coastal region.
“The target is to ensure a professional milk value chain, and we are expecting to implement the project in cooperation with the parent ministry,” he said.
According to him, the board will continue searching for more funds to enable it to construct more milk collection facilities in different areas of the country with an eye to ensuring the milk being produced by dairy farmers is collected and stored professionally.
“Tanzania is facing an acute shortage of milk supply,” he said, detailed further that, “demand for milk in the country currently stands at 12billion litters in a year but what is being produced is only 3.4 billion litres, which means there is a deficit of at least 9 billion litres,”
He however observed that most of the dairy farmers are yet to channel their milk into through the formal system, the development which denies milk processing plants to amass needed milk volume.
Available statistics show that there are at least 99 milk processing factories in Tanzania with the capacity to produce 865,600 litres per day, but due to low production and availability of milk from farmers the industries are only processing 203,600 litres, estimated as 23.52 per cent of production capacity.
“The poor supply is being attributed among others, by unfriendly urban-rural road infrastructure networks that are frustrating farmer’s ability to timely distribute their milk to processors,” Dr Msalya stated.
In Tanzania, there are currently a total of 221 Milk Collection Centers (MCC) initiated by the board in different areas countrywide, whereby, out of the number, at least 717 MCC have been established with special milk cooling tanks with professional ability to safely preserve milk for a weeklong period, and at capacity to cool a total of 352,098 litres a day.
During 2019/20, the country produced 3.01 billion litres of milk, out of which, 2.1 billion litres were produced from domestic dairy cows and 0.1 billion litres was from crossbred dairy cows.
In 2017/18, Tanzania imported 20,920,537.58 LMEs Kg, valued at 30,290,485,222/- and during 2018/19 the importation rate stood at 617,448,655Kg.
However, due to the advancement of the UHT technology in Tanzania, the country’s Liquid Milk Equivalent (LME) Importation has kept declining.
Also, the record proves that Tanzania has successfully managed to increase the number of crossbred dairy cattle at the national level 3. 8 times from 783,000 in 2017/18 to 1,294,882 in 2018/19, the development which witnessed the country’s milk production expands from 2.4 billion litres to 2.7.