By Valentine Oforo, Dodoma
The Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB) plans to heighten the number of milk centres meant for the provision of milk drinking programs to public servants at ministries and other public offices in Dodoma, the country’s Capital City, says TDB Registrar, Dr. George Msalya.
Earlier last year, the state-owned board embarked on a pilot project for the provision of milk drinking services in at least 10 ministries, the development which has to date seen the provision of more than 12,000 litres.
The TDB’s chief boss told this publication during an exclusive interview yesterday that the board was currently working to increase the number of milk centres designated for the ongoing vital exercise, to at least 20 centres from the current 10.
“The vision is to cater for more public servants in offices and ministries so as to help instil a culture of milk drinking, the trend which is both beneficial for human health improvement as well as the country’s economic gains,” he revealed.
He added that TDB has so far installed modern refrigerators at most ministries to facilitate smooth dispensation of the program, saying the focus was now to extend the program’s coverage to further ministries.
“We have imported the special modern refrigerators for professional milk storage, the facilities that are regularly inspected and filled with fresh milk to enable the public servants in the relevant ministries accessing the services on a daily basis,” he detailed.
He expressed, among others, that the timely initiative targets to significantly spur a market for locally produced milk instead of imported ones, a move that will automatically improve incomes among local producers and processors.
“The program is not profit-oriented, but it is a service tailor-made that seeks to improve milk production and consumption records in Tanzania, and thus, the beneficiaries are only contributing a small amount of money to get the services (milk),” he explained.
As time goes by, he informed that the board will continue improving the program’s services as well as expanding its coverage, targeting to reach out to all public offices from across the country.
“We have vast plans and visions pertaining to the implementation of this project, but unfortunately we’re being constrained by unavailability of needed financial resources to help us run it at intended coverage and quality, “he added.
Among the ten ministries that are currently benefiting as part of the project’s first phase include the Livestock and Fisheries, Defense and National Services, Agriculture, Finance and Planning, Industry and Trade, Regional Administration and Local Government, Education and Home Affairs.
According to Livestock Minister Mashimba Ndaki, the program was of paramount importance in helping solve the long-standing challenge of low milk production as well as assured market, saying if implemented accordingly will help increase livelihood among livestock keepers (dairy farmers).
The minister unveiled that the country’s milk sub-sector was holding a vital component in helping strengthen nutrition status, especially among the children.
However, he detailed that, milk production in Tanzania has catapulted at a low pace of 3.1 billion litres in 2021 from 2.1 billion litres in 2016.
Pertaining to milk processing capacity, he disclosed that local industries have the capacity to process at least 871,700 litres in a day, but due to poor availability of milk from farmers, the factories are ending up processing only 207,050 litres, equivalent to 23.8 per cent of their installed capabilities.