By. Damba Rogers
Dairy farmers in the western districts of Mbarara, Kiruhura, among other districts are pondering on what to do next as most of them have resorted to pouring thousands of liters of milk and giving some to cafs, dogs, and neighbors without cattle with the continued wastage accounting to losing over 8000 liters of milk a day.
David Mwine, the chairperson, Rukaka diary co-op in Bwizibwera, a milk collection center with
The supply shortage follows the closure of one of the biggest processing plant in the region.
Mwine who used to buy 3600 liters from farmers at UGX.550 and sell to the region’s processing plant on a daily basis, now can only buy a liter at farm gate prices at UGX.200.
This has demoralized farmers in the region resorting to hold the milk for other uses which are not profitable.
Before closure, the plant would buy over 15000 liters of milk from thousands of diary farmers on a daily basis.
Diary farmers like Kizza Emmanuel and Nuwamanya Ekzephia are also counting daily losses, as now they can only give out hundreds of liters of milk to dogs, neighbours and pour the rest.
“We are forced to pour our milk because the coolers are always filled with milk from morning to sun set and yet we as farmers have less knowledge when it comes to preserving milk.” Says Mr. Nuwamanya.
The farmers say, they are injecting too much money by buying medicines for treatment among other necessities to have the animals provide huge amounts of milk and live healthier, but now they cannot afford them due to lack of money.
They now call upon govt to expedite all means see that the factory is re-opened for them to earn daily income like before.
The closure of the dairy processing factory in the region has rendered over 4000 Ugandans jobless which continues to impact negatively on their livelihoods.
The trade minister, Honorable Amelia Kyambadde confirmed writing to her counter in Kenya where the Ugandan based milk factory has been exporting its finished products, but little of positive answers have been received from the Kenyan side.
Kenya being the largest market share for the milk factory, it remains unknown when the issue will be resolved to have the factory re-opened.