The 16th Dairy Africa Conference and Exhibition, hosted by the Eastern and Southern Africa Dairy Association (ESADA) at Hotel Africana-Kampala, ended with a resounding call for member states to focus on milk value addition. Distinguished speakers emphasised the need for countries to enhance the value of their dairy products to access higher prices on regional and global markets.
Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, took the stage and passionately criticized the continuous importation of dairy products from Europe. He highlighted that Uganda’s dairy sector harbours immense untapped potential and urged Ugandan dairy farmers to invest in adding value to their milk products. The minister emphasized that this would not only allow them to compete favourably with foreign milk products but also boost domestic revenue significantly.
Echoing this commitment, Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Bright Rwamirama, told journalists that the government is fully dedicated to increasing milk value addition. The plan includes producing powdered milk, yogurt, and long-lasting fresh milk for export to countries like Algeria, Mauritius, and China, which have shown a keen interest in Ugandan dairy products.
Moreover, he urged livestock farmers to ensure they purchase genuine veterinary medicines from authorized dealers sanctioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, as these are the official regulators of animal medicines in Uganda.
Moses Nyabila, the CEO of aBi Development, shared his perspective on the dairy industry’s remarkable growth. Recalling his attendance at the first conference held in Uganda in 2006, he highlighted the industry’s transformation and the resilience of smallholder farmers. Dairy, which contributes around 6% to Uganda’s GDP, has played a pivotal role in the nation’s economic growth. Nyabila emphasized the potential for “milk without borders” and called on governments to open up their borders to dairy trade.
He also stressed the importance of channelling significant resources toward food and climate initiatives. Nyabila reaffirmed aBi Development’s commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to solidify the dairy sector and create mutually beneficial opportunities for all involved.