The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT which has a strategic dairy partnership in the southern corridor has organised the meeting.
The head of SAGCOT’s Clusters Development, Maria Ijumba, said the meeting is aimed at among other things opening ways for smallholder farmers to benefit from the milk they produce, overcome poverty and create jobs.
“We have a 2030-target to overcome poverty in SAGCOT corridor and we want to remain focused. We want farmers to get improved breed of cows, more milk and benefit from research results,” she said.
SAGCOT wants at least 420,000 new employment opportunities created in the agricultural value chain and more than 2 million people permanently lifted out of poverty by 2030.
Manager of the newly created Mbarali Cluster, Tullah Mlonge, said if stakeholders will move together in unity, the hurdles will be overcome and many people will be freed from poverty. “Our aim is to create as many jobs as we can and increase local and foreign markets. This is possible,” she said.
ASAS Dairies, a processor of milk from smallholders in the area and key stakeholders in the dairy partnership, wants roads improved. ASAS Dairies Project Manager, Hassan Swedi, expressed his satisfaction with the creation of the Tanzania Rural Road (TARURA), which was represented at the meeting, saying bad or impassable roads prevented fresh milk from reaching the processing plant. “Milk business demands that milk must reach the plant while fresh,” he said.
ASAS Dairies can process between 12,000 and 14,000 litres a day and produce a range of dairy products,” but this is less than 30 percent of the plant’s capacity of 50,000 litres a day.