Greater awareness on the health benefits of milk and dairy products is needed to raise their consumption in Tanzania.
An article published online (10 Sept 2015) by IPPmedia says milk and milk products are seen as ‘functional’ drinks in the country, which contributes to their low consumption. The article reports on findings from a survey, commissioned by the East African Dairy Development (EADD) II project, that also showed that dairy products are missing out on ‘opportunities for emotional and social consumption’ in the country that are currently taken up by tea, carbonated soft drinks and porridge.
The EADD survey showed that the country could produce and consume more milk and dairy products. Currently, Tanzania produces about 2.06 billion litres of milk per year compared to Kenya, which produces 5.2 billion litres of milk annually with a national average per capita milk consumption of 47 litres per person per year.
Researchers in the EADD project are calling for more efforts, by stakeholders in the dairy sector, in pushing milk products into the space of carbonated soft drinks and juices by communicating better on their benefits to human health and nutrition. Other constraints to the availability of milk in the country such as quality, price and seasonal fluctuations also need to be addressed to boost consumption of dairy products.
The EADD II is a five-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Heifer International. Implementing partners include Technoserve (TNS), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), African Breeders Services Ltd limited (ABS) and World Agro-forestry Research Centre (ICRAF) who work together to support the set up of dairy farmers’ business associations to develop dairy hubs and provide services required by small-scale dairy farmers to increase their dairy productivity and market access.
The project is targeting smallholder farm families in Kenya Uganda and Tanzania and hopes to double the dairy income of 136,000 farm families. Since the start of the second phase of the project in March 2014 it has so far reached about 17,000 dairy farmers in Tanzania.
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