Muheza district eyes doubling of milk production

20Jan 2019
The Guardian Reporter
Guardian On Sunday
Muheza district eyes doubling of milk production

​​​​​​​PLANS are afoot to increase daily milk production in Muheza district and the entire Tanga region, District Livestock Officer Dr. Paul Kisaka has said.

A man tending to his cow in the remote villages, Farmers in Tanga aims to double milk production to increase income. Photo: File

He said currently over 25 cows have received AI service and the district has reintroduced a credit scheme where 17 heifers have already been provided to dairy farmers.

“Our aim is to increase the number of dairy cows and hence the production of milk,” he said.

 He was speaking to The Guardian this week in the district where he said the programme has already been achieved in two wards of Amani division where a climate change adaptation project is being undertaken.

To sustain dairy farming activities, Dr. Kisaka said a dairy business hub would be formed at the Dairy Coop Society where farmers’ milk would be collected and where loans and inputs would also be sold.

“Our objective is to connect them with various distributers of inputs and financial institutions for financial, AI services, feeds and medicine,” he said.

This, according to the district environment officer Cyprian Mselem, adds further on sustaining the project activities, saying the district council has also absorbed climate change adaptation activities in the council’s budget.

“It has not been difficult because council experts have been involved in the implementation of the project and some departments have already prepared write-ups of their own to sustain those activities, such as the community development department which is intending to widen the fuel wood saving technology,” he said.

Tanga Fresh Milk Sourcing Department Manager Anadomana Nyanga, which is among implementers of the programme, said they have already teamed up with farmers in the region to increase milk production to enable farmers to get more income and improve their lives.

This aims at assisting farmers to adapt to climate change while at the same time ensuring that farmers are reached and helped to increase milk production so that the firm can double its production capacity and meet increasing milk demand.

Nyanga told the Guardian that the programme was jointly being implemented by a number of stakeholders.

Such includes climate change adaptation project in East Usambaras, ‘Integrated Approaches to Climate Adaptation in East Usambaras which are implemented in two wards of the Amani Division of Muheza district.

These climate adaptation projects, she said, aim at enabling the firm to increase its production from the current 45,000 litres per day to over 90,000 litres.

Other stakeholders include Tanzania Livestock Research Institute (TALIRI), Tanga city-based Buhuri Livestock Training Institute (LITI Buhuri) and Tanga Dairy Cooperative Union (TDCU).

The programme aims to change farmers’ mindset from traditional subsistence dairy farming to commercial farming by teaching them new animal husbandry technologies being tested at TALIRI.

Farmers will be able to plant grass for animals to feed, taught on forage storage techniques and use it during the dry season,  and artificial insemination.

According to Nyanga, the firm wants to increase daily milk production to 120,000 liters, but it cannot do it by itself without teaching farmers to use new technologies.

The region has about 6,257 dairy farmers grouped under 24 dairy cooperative societies which form the Tanga Dairy Cooperative Union (TDCU).

She said if each of the group can increase production by at least 10 litres the amount of milk being processed by the firm was likely to increase.

“There is one dairy farmer who increased milk production by 10 litres per day by improving the cleanliness of his cow shed,” she said.

The milk firm has so far introduced a number of incentives aiming at encouraging dairy farmers to increase production such as the introduction of a second payment system.

TALIRI has also been playing a major role in developing, testing and selling new and better animal husbandry technologies where new technologies have already been introduced in eight villages in Misalai and Zirai wards in East Usambaras.