Livestock farmers under their body, Livestock development forum have issued milk processors an ultimatum of 12 days to come on the round and discuss the issues of gate farm milk prices.
In a meeting chaired by the chairperson, Ben Twine today in Kampala, livestock farmers from milk producing districts in the country decried the continued slowing down of milk prices with a liter in some areas now going for UGX.400 whereas other areas it goes for UGX.1000 and yet the processors are selling a liter at UGX.2600 and above.
The farmers now says this is unacceptable hence the need to dialogue and agree on the suitable farm gate price of milk.
Twine says, they seek a meeting with processors not later than 31st August 2019 and failure to have the meeting, they will withhold the milk.
However, some of the livestock farmers we spoke to are proposing a liter to go for UGX.1500 at farm gate price.
Ugandan livestock farmers are among the least paid in the region with the highest being Kenya who bag UGX.1700 per liter at farm gate price.
However, the farmers note that government has attracted milk processors and provided a conducive environment ranging from tax holiday, good infrastructure, and access to credit among others. This is geared towards turning Uganda’s precious raw milk into a product that is competing favorably against reputable brands on the national and international market.
“Without these enterprising processors, the 2,200,000,000 liters of raw milk would form a tributary of the mighty river Nile and head to the Mediterranean sea.” Says Ben Twine.
The above interventions have attracted more investment into the diary sector, especially for milk processing. Currently the major milk processing companies registered in Uganda include the following:
Brookside diary limited, Jesa farm diary, Pearl diary farm limited, Amos diariwes Uganda limited, GBK diary product among others.
Annoyingly, unfairly and inconsiderately remained significantly below the cost of production (UGX.1000 in the open ranging system and UGX.1500 in the zero grazing system) Currently prices are as low as UGX.300/UGX.500 a liter in the majority of the milk producing regions. This is the lowest in East African region by far.
The meeting called for by milk farmers seeks to have 11 milk processors from across the country.