The head of the livestock department at the ministry of Agriculture, Dr Theogene Rutagwenda has advised milk dealers to produce safe and quality milk to attract more consumers.
Dr Rutagwenda made the call during an interview with The New Times yesterday.
“For milk consumption to increase in the region, we need to first avail the milk. It has to be of high quality, safe and affordable to the consumers especially at the local level,” he said.
Rutagwenda further acknowledged that infrastructure was a significant factor in easing the transportation of milk to consumers, an issue that relevant authorities should take up.
His observations come as regional heads of dairy regulatory authorities from the EAC partner states meet in Arusha to identify areas and opportunities that enhance cooperation and growth in the sector within the bloc.
The dairy regulators, through their umbrella body; the East African Dairy Regulatory Authorities Council (EADRAC), will also discuss trade in dairy products, sanitary standards, improved milk production and access to markets.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, Dr. Enos Bukuku, who opened the meeting, observed that EAC Partner States have a challenge to re-structure and transform the dairy sector from subsistence to commercial.
“There is need for increased efforts to develop, modernize, and commercialise the dairy industry in the region.
The demand for milk in the EAC region is high, yet in some cases, surplus milk gets spoiled and does not reach the deficit areas,” Bukuku said.
Citing various policy and infrastructure challenges that affect the sector, the Deputy Secretary General informed the meeting that the EAC is in the course to develop a regional livestock policy, which will guide sector operations at a regional scale.
The meeting also aims at creating a favourable regional environment to promote the sector, which contributes approximately 5 percent to Gross Domestic Product of the bloc.