As the dairy industry in the Eastern and southern African region continues to play an important role in lives of many people, 30 percent of the milk production is not utilised.
While speaking at a breakfast briefing of the 6th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition yesterday, the Chairman, Eastern and Southern African Dairy Association (ESADA), Tom Opio-Oming attributed the cause to transportation constraints.
“However, on-farm milk productivity has remind low, among other factors to the cause include; domestic market inability to accommodate the available output and marketing which faces infrastructure bottlenecks especially in flush period,” Opio-Oming said.
The 6th African Dairy Conference and Exhibition is due to take place from May 19, 2010 to May 21, 2010 at Kigali Serena Hotel.
The conference, which allows regional dairy stakeholders to interact with experts, investors, researchers and policy makers from the region, will bring together 300 professionals and over 50 international and regional exhibitors in the dairy industry.
Opio-Oming raised concerns challenging the sector, urging farmers to embrace technologies in order to be competitive.
“The industry stakeholders need to work in harmony and promote consumption of dairy products in order to grow the market,” he said.
Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Agnes Kalibata, called upon Rwandan dairy farmers to take this new opportunity and learn from the new technologies that will be exhibited or shown during the conference.
“Rwandan farmers did not have this kind of forum were they can express themselves and learn from each other. We believe after the conference they will go an extra mile after learning from the experience of other farmers,” Kalibata said.
ESADA was found in 2004 as a regional dairy association for dairy stakeholders with a mission of increasing trade in African dairy products.
The umbrella represents Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and South Africa.