Hon. Frank Tumwebaze the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has termed the “sky rocketing prices” of milk as a blessing to the ordinary farmers whom he said had not been benefiting from their efforts.
For two months now the prices of milk have continuously shot up, which has not only discouraged some families from Kampala from including it on their meals but also scared away small dealers.
Charity Ninsima the proprietor of Ninsima Diary in Kireka told ChimpReports that she has not sold milk for close to a month now.
“The prices of milk have gone up; used to buy a cup at Shs800 and sell at Shs900 or Shs1000, but now the cup is at Shs1000 yet my customers can’t afford buying it at a price higher than that” she said.
“So I paused selling milk until the prices are stabilized,” she added.
Speaking to journalists at the swearing in ceremony of the new Board of the Diary Development Authority however, Tumwebaze termed people who criticize the increasing milk prices as being pessimistic.
“It’s a problem for you Kampala people who don’t farm, so let it go high and you pay the farmers. As you are demanding for salary increment in different professions, let farmers also benefit,” he said.
“The prices are high because there is demand, the price going up is a good one for me, I should celebrate it,” he added
Tumwebaze also rubbished allegations that the prices are due to quarantine that was imposed on different districts due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
“This is another issue which we are resolving and should not be mixed up. For me I think when the milk prices rise I become happy because that’s how a farmer also benefits from their activities,” he said.
Commenting on Kenya’s ban on Uganda’s milk, the Minister said, “We are not producing for only one country but what is important is for the farmers to manage their costs of production and quality standards. We shall sell to whichever market but we are resolving an issue with Kenya,” he said.
“They are also trying to protect their own industry but we hope we can achieve a win-win with them but more markets are opening for example DRC.
Uganda currently produces 1.9 million liters of milk daily in over 400 centers.
The recent data from Bank of Uganda indicates that Uganda Exported Dairy products worth $205Million in 2020 as compared to $139M in 2019.
Major exports were made to East African Countries, UAE, Nigeria, Syria and Japan.
The sworn in DDA Board comprises of Sandra Mugenyo Mwebaza its Chairperson, Immaculate Kibirango a member, Vivian Tumwebaze a member, Daniel Kasibule among others will serve between July 2021 and June 2025.
Tumwebaze urged the new team to identify the challenges faced by farmers and advise his ministry accordingly.