The sector has gone through unprecedented growth from the times of acute milk scarcity in the 1970s, to the times of milk powder re-constitution in the 1980s to meet liquid milk demand, to the times of self-sufficiency in early 2000s and to the current times of raw milk surplus. Uganda currently produces 2.5 billion liters of raw milk against the national consumption demand of 800 million liters. This has attracted foreign and domestic investment in milk processing and currently, there are 130 licensed large scale, medium scale and cottage milk processors in the country but processing only 30% of the raw milk produced. The dairy products being produced include; UHT milk, butter oil, ghee, cheese, pasteurized liquid milk, milk powder, flavored milk, milk shakes, casein, yoghurts and Ice cream consumed locally and for export. Uganda currently hosts the largest milk processing factory in Africa.
In the last 10 years, the value of milk and milk products exported from Uganda has increased astronomically from USD 5 million in 2008 to USD 130 million in 2017 to USD 131.5 million in 2019/20. At this rate, Uganda is poised to become the largest dairy exporter in Africa and the sector is slowly edging its way into Uganda’s top exports, next to coffee and tea.
Even with this unprecedented growth of the sector, there is plenty of opportunity for investment in the Dairy Value Chain, specifically in; more raw milk production, milk bulking and chilling, milk transportation, value addition, product research/ development and marketing so as to create more wealth and employment. The Government of Uganda through DDA is currently investing in rehabilitation and equipping of milk collecting centers (MCCs) improving cold chain facilities to reduce post-harvest losses, investment in mobile laboratories, reference labs in regions and accreditation of the National referral laboratory in Lugogo Kampala to enhance regulatory capacity for improved quality, investment in upgrading the Entebbe Dairy training school (EDTS) to the National Dairy Training and Incubation College (NDTIC) to produce Dairy Technologists and Dairy Technicians, investment in regional operational units in 9 regions of Uganda to take services closer to farms.
It is my hope that the Dairy sector will soon be the leading Uganda’s foreign exchange earner as we deepen the agro-industrialization agenda, will therefore offer more employment opportunities than any other sector can offer and provide a prime opportunity for national transformation.
To God be the Glory.
Dr. Kansiime Michael
Executive Director DDA