|Strategies for market orientation of small scale milk producers and their organisations. Proceedings of a worshop held at Mogororo Hotel, Mogororo, Tanzania, 20-24 March 1995. (1995)|
FAO Resident Representative,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is my greatest pleasure to be with you this morning to officiate the opening of your Workshop. I wish to thank you Mr. Chairman and the organizing committee for inviting me to this occasion.
May I now take the opportunity on behalf of the Government of Tanzania and on my own behalf to welcome our foreign participants and guests to Tanzania and welcome all of you to Morogoro. I hope you have so far enjoyed your travelling and stay and do wish you a further happier stay in Morogoro. I thank you all for coming and enjoy your workshop.
I would also like to commend the Food and Agriculture Organising of the United Nation (FAO) and the Sokoine University of Agriculture particularly the Department of Animal Science and Production for sponsoring and facilitating the Workshop respectively.
Mr. Chairman, this workshop I believe has been organised at the right time when a number of African countries are undergoing the popular structural adjustments in social, Economic and financial sectors as a strategy to improve the well being of their people. In Tanzania these adjustments which started in the mid 80s is included major changes in the productions system from the large-scale parastatal farms to small scale farming.
The livestock sector in Tanzania is predominantly consisting of the traditional herd which is not very productive but very important to the livelihood of farmers and cattle keepers. Over a number of years now there has been a lot of efforts put into this sector to modernize it and improve its productivity.
Despite these efforts the Livestock sector in Tanzania still contributes only 10% of the GDP unlike the crop sector, which contributes 40% of the GDP. This low level of contribution has mainly been due to low productivity of the National herd, Poor Nutrition, Disease challenges and unsatisfactory Management. I am told this trend is common in a number of countries in Africa and the Developing World at large.
It is my hope that this Workshop will address itself to these issues critically and come up with some interventions which will help us solve some of the chronic problems which limit our livestock productivity.
Mr. Chairman, In Tanzania we have a Government Blue print, namely the Livestock Policy of 1983 which is currently under review. Both prints put a lot of emphasis on Dairy Development through cross-breeding, disease control and improved Management. To-Date the improved Dairy herd is estimated at 400,000 with an average milk production of 1800 litres per Lactation contributing less than 10% of the milk consumed in the country. The remaining 90% comes from the Traditional herd of about 13 million cattle. This shows that in the short and Medium terms: the major source of milk for Tanzania will still be from the Traditional herd. Hence, besides the fact that the Tanzania short horn Zebu is not a dairy cow; its importance can bot be over emphasized here. While the dairy herd is growing we should at the some time look for ways of-improving the productivity of the traditional held and better processing of the seasonal milk surpluses from this sub-sector.
Mr. Chairman, The Tanzania Government in collaboration with the Donor Community are carrying out Smallholder Dairy Development programmes in about 18 Regions through a Heifer-in-trust scheme which entails the farmer to later on pass-over to the Project the 1st Female Pregnant Heifer. At this early stage of project implementation we are already experiencing some seasonal milk surpluses in some areas in the country.
Mr. Chairman, when we look into the per capital consumption of milk, it is 20 litres in Tanzania, 22 litres in Uganda, 24 litres in Zimbabwe and 44 litres in Kenya while in the Developed world the consumption figures are about ten times those of ours in the average. On comparing these consumption figures between our developing countries with the Developed World, one wonders wether the surplus milk we are talking about is a Real Surplus or our people are simply not drinking milk. I hope the Workshop will address itself to these issues and come out with solution to some of these problems.
Mr. Chairman, if we all agree that the milk surplus talked above is true surplus irrespective of the levels of consumptions, then we have to look for the best methods of improving its shelf like and its utility. This can be done by turing this milk int other more stable milk products which have wider market demand.
In Tanzania Milk processing and Marketing was entrusted to a Government Parastatal called the Tanzania Dairies Ltd. (TDL) which like most of the Parastatals has been producing at less than 30% of its capacity. This company has processing Plants in Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Arusha, Tabora, Mbeya, Musoma and Tarime. If you look at the size of this country and the problems of communications we have, its is obvious that these processing facilities are inadequate in every respect.
Most of these plants are of 30,000 - 60,000 litres capacity per day and were meant to service the large scale farms and small scale farmers through established cooling centres or through buying centres where milk was collected by vehicles and sent to the factories. At present the factories most of them are ailing, cooling centres have collapsed and the transport network for collecting milk is no longer in existence.
Mr. Chairman, even if these were in existence and the factories running, at full capacities, there is no way you can locate seven factories to service all the farmer in a country of nearly one million square kilometres. Much as these large plants are still necessary especially in large urban centres, I think your workshop has to discussing ways and means of servicing the dairy farmers in rural setting.
In order to cater for this group, smaller plants may seem ideal. The capacities of there plants will probably be determined by factors like the amount of milk to be processed etc. In some cases processing plants may not even be necessary. The farmers could be taught how to turn their milk into other products which are easily transportable and not too perishable. This could be done on household/family basis. The processing plants however small they may be will normally be too expensive for individual rural farmer to afford. The farmers however can own these plants in a group form or partnership. For this kind of arrangement to succeed, the farmers have to be organised to form their own cooperatives, associations etc. In Tanzania for nearly three years now this call has been very high on, the agenda but the pace of establishing these Livestock/dairy farmers cooperative societies has been discouragingly slow. The cooperative officers and livestock officers should work hand in hand to make sure their process speeds up.
The importance of establishing livestock/dairy farmers cooperative societies is not only limited to milk processing and marketing but will also serve other important parameters to the development of the. sector itself. For example once these societies are thoroughly established and economical strong, they could also supply things like medications, supplementary feeds and other services like artificial insemination to their members and other community members. I hope your workshop will deliberate on this important matter and come out with strong recommendations on how to implement it fast.
Mr. Chairman another important factor that necessitates milk processing or milk treatment is health aspect. Most peasants drink milk without even milk undergoing simple treatment of boiling. Nowadays AIDS not withstanding diseases like T.B. and Brucellosis are on the increase and untreated milk has been identified as one of the major sources of these diseases to the humans. The development of the Diary sector could help in combating the spread of these diseases from the milk source firstly by educating farmers of the possible dangers of drinking raw milk and secondly by the establishment of processing plants and milk treatment processes turning milk into other products.
If milk has to be turned into a product by boiling, this automatically turns the skimmed milk and the products safe for human consumption. I am sure your workshop will also deliberate on this health aspect which is of vital importance.
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to end here by wishing you all the best in your deliberations. The exchange of experiences from different countries represented here and exchange of notes amongst yourselves are the healthiest treasures that all of us are banking on to arrive at our desired goals at the end of our workshop. I wish to thank you all again for your invitation and your attention.
May I now, with pleasure and honour, announce that your workshop
on Marketing Orientation of Smallholder Dairy Producers officially
Thank you for your attention.
The Honourable Frederick Sumaye, M.P.
Minister of Agriculture