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P. Borland and H. Moyo5


The dairy sector in Zimbabwe has been drastically impacted upon by the recurrent drought resulting in a decline in production from 204 to 201 million litres in 1995. Commercial milk production is mostly done by commercial farmers.

The marketing and processing of milk has been dominated by the Dairy Marketing Board but deregulatory measures introduced as a result of the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme has resulted in new companies entering the industry.

The paper also gives an analysis of production and marketing in the various regions in Zimbabwe.

An outline of the herd composition and yield for different breeds is given as well as the various support services offered by government and other organisations.

1.0 Background

The country is divided up into five natural ecological regions namely:

-Region IMore than 1 000 mm rainfall
-Region II750 – 1 000 mm rainfall
-Region III650 – 800 mm rainfall
-Region IV450 – 650 mm rainfall
-Region VLess than 450 mm rainfall

Zimbabwe has a total area of approximately 39 million hectares of which 11 million hectares is commercial farming land. Only the central plateau and the regions with altitudes above 1000 metres are suitable for dairy production. The number of large scale dairy farmers is currently 371 a drop of 80 herd in the past two years.

Black and white cattle are predominant, although a number of other breeds like the Ayrshire, Guernsey, Jersey and Red Dane exist in small numbers. Ten smallholder dairy organisation are in existence. Usually smallholder dairyment start with whatever stock they have or buy crossbreeds and upgrade slowly.

2.0 Marketing

The dairy sector in Zimbabwe is presently undergoing deregulation in the marketing of its products. The dairy Marketing Board, the parastatal which had a total monopoly over the marketing of milk and dairy products, has been converted into a commercial corporation, the Dairiboard Zimbabwe Limited (DZL). Even though DZL has no regulatory powers or responsibilities, it still processes 90 % of the milk sold into the national pool and continues to operate seven factories spread throughout the country as a result of its historical monopolistic role.

Nestle is a leading multi-national corporation involved in dairy production and processing, and it operates a factory in Harare. As a result of the deregulation, Nestle now purchases raw milk directly from producers. Several smaller processors have also started operating but are finding difficulties in meeting quality standards and consumer expectations. Recently, one of these was forced to liquidate. Producer retailers shall operate in a small way satisfying needs and demands for milk in local markets in their areas.

1 This paper was not presented but was circulated at the Workshop.

5 P. Borland is a Chief Dairy Officer and H. Moyo is a Dairy Officer in Dairy Services in the Department of Research and Specialist Services, Zimbabwe

Table 1 : The Composition of the Zimbabwe National Dairy Herd

No of Dairy Cattle:19901991199219931994
Cows in milk59 35061 78456 35644 72840 399
Cows dry16 56816 52716 28514 17412 674
Heifers in calf15 20217 48213 91210 96410 283
Heifers over 12 mths25 94126 43225 48620 83718 855
Heifers under 12 mths24 94926 85624 94318 08416 217
Male Calves7 2508 1135 8334 2234 882
Bulls1 5781 5311 5011 8481 598
TOTAL150 842158 729142 846114 858104 908

SOURCE: National Association of Dairy Farmers/Central Statistical Office

3.0 Production Areas and Systems

As a result of the recurring drought, total milk production has slightly declined over the years from 204 million liters in June 1993 to 201 million litres in June 1995, forcing some producers out of dairying.

3.1 Harare

About 39 % of the national milk intake is processed by Harare DZL with 7 % going to Nestle. The production systems found in this area (Regions II and III) vary from intensive zero grazing, through irrigation pastures to dairy ranching with low feed inputs. Beinga a cropping area, a great deal of home-grown feed is used for a home-mixing based on maize silage, oil cakes and purchased concentrates.

3.2 Gweru

Production for this area is about 25 % of total and being Region III most feeding is out of the bag, with some home mixing where irrigation is available.

3.3 Bulawayo

About 7 % of total production of is found here in Region IV. Certain areas are well supplied with irrigation providing for pastures and crops for home mixing and the balance of feed is bought in.

3.4 Kadoma

This is a marginal cropping area between Region I and III with a mixture of feeding systems and contributing about 5 % of production.

3.5 Mutare

Again, this area is marginal with a mixture of feeding and contributing 6 % of the total production.

3.6 Chipinge

This area (Region I) is normally well watered so dairy production is based on home grown forage and grain. The region has however been badly affected by drought in recent years. The biggest constraint is the cost of transport both in and out of the area due to its isolation and remoteness. Natural disasters like drought, tends to have a very noticeable effect on production in this area.

4.0 Herd Production

Average herd production figures according to Zimbabwe Dairy Herd Improvement Association (ZDHIA) for past ten years are given in the Table 2. The top herds are averaging over 9000 kg milk per 306 day lactation. ZDHIA replaced the old Milk Recording Scheme, and has jointly with Dairy Services introduced a new scheme reducing reliance on levies and Government funding by charging increasingly more realistic fees for services rendered. Proposals have also been put forward for the merger of these two organisations. If, approved the merged organisation will be financed mainly through user fees, dairy industry levy and government funding.

Table 2: Herd Yield Averages (Kg) by Breed and Overall Breeds (Milk Recording Scheme from 1985 – 1994)

No. Herds9510110410310210091868464
Av.No.of herd108112125136137148154156139*

* An accurate figure cannot be given as some lactations were completed on the old system.
Source: Dairy Services/ZDHIA

5.0 Government Support Services

5.1 Dairy Services of the Department of Research and Specialist Services

In terms of the Dairy Act, Dairy Services provides regulatory and technical services to the production and processing sectors. Farm dairies are licenced by Dairy Services, and it also monitors the production of clean milk. Methylene blue testing which has been a standard procedure on all milk is being phased out and replaced by Total Bacterial Counts, in the new Milk Grading System.

A new Milk Grading System has been launched in view of changed processor and consumer needs as well as testing technologies and production methods. As of the first of January 1996, processors will be paying according to Total Bacterial Count, on hygienic quality of milk. Rolling means of the counts are going to be used so as to cater for the high degree of flactuation which takes place in counts. Somatic cell counts are carried out to monitor milk hygiene. Compositional quality tests are carried on the infra-red analysers which expresses these as butterfat, protein, lactose and total solids. Milk ring testing is carried out monthly to detect presence of antibodies to Brucellosis. Dairy Services is also required to inspect and register processing plants, monitor product quality and undertake proficiency test of various factory personnel, road tanker drivers etc.

5.2 Chemistry and Soils Institute Or Research and Specialist Services

An important facility is provided by this Institute for analysis of stock feeds, all of which are registered on the strength of their composition and quality. A lesser function of this Institute is the detection of poisons, pesticide residues etc. in samples submitted by the Veterinary Research Laboratory, stockfeed companies, Dairy Services and others.

5.3 Department of Veterinary Services

Four branches fall within the Departments' responsibility namely the Field Service, the Veterinary Research Laboratory, the Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Branch and Meat Hygiene Services. Only the former two are relevant to dairying.

The Animal Health Act provides for the legal control of animal diseases in Zimbabwe. Broadly, the Department is responsible for scheduled disease control through the Field Service and a diagnostic facility through the laboratory. In addition, all Government controlled vaccinations such as foot-an-mouth disease, anthrax (in the communal areas), rabies etc. are performed by the Department in terms of the Cattle Cleansing Regulations. A charge for this service has been introduced as part of the commercialisation of Government services in accordance with policies and strategies agreed for economic reforms. In 1982 a CA Accreditation Scheme was implemented on a voluntary basis and in 1991 a penalty was introduced for herds testing positive to the milk ring test. These measures have been very successful in reducing the incidence of CA amongst diary herds.


Agritex holds the major mandate for agricultural extension. Since 1980, most of its services are targeted at the small scale farming areas and is therefore responsible for on-farm extension work on dairy farming in these areas.

6.0 The Bulk Milk Collection Service

Originally, the Bulk Milk Collection Scheme was run by the Dairy Marketing Board. This has now been taken over by the National Dairy Co-operative, and the system is run as a commercial enterprise.

7.0 Non-Governmental Support Services

The following non-governmental organisations offer support services to the dairy sector:

7.1 The stockfeed companies are sophisticated and capitally well equipped. The biggest constraint on these companies is the lack of continuity in the supply of raw materials. Currently there is some discontent amongst producers as a result of the rapid increases in the cost of stockfeeds.

7.2 The oil expressing companies provide important by-products from vegetable oil production in form of soya bean meal, cotton seed meal, sunflower cake and groundnut cake and are therfore a vital component of the dairy sector.

7.3. A number of specialist companies import micro-ingredients in the form of minerals, vitamins and amino acids, supplying these to the stockfeed manufacturers and directly to dairy farmer in the form of premixes.

7.4 Well established veterinary and pharmaceutical supply companies provide an excellent service to dairy farmers supplying dips, anthelmintic, other veterinary products, vaccines and veterinary instruments.

7.5 Dairy chemical supply companies have grown in number recently, initiating a highly competitive element into this sector.

7.6. Breeding companies provide semen from imported and local bulls, liquid nitrogen and A.l equipment.

7.7 Auctioneering companies involved in livestock marketing.

7.8 Private veterinaries and livestock consultants. All individual treatments of dairy animals and herds excluding scheduled diseases are carried out by private veterinarians. Various private consultants are used by producers and processors who are developing new services which should make a significant contribution to improved viability within the industry.

8.0 Recommendations and Conclusion

The dairy sector has been in severe financial crisis for some years. This situation has arisen through a number of factors which are:-

Inefficiency in production and processing

There has been a growing realisation that it is up to the participants in each industry to:


C. W. Bunoti6


Uganda has a varied farming system ranging from intensive cropping systems at the Lakeshore to pastoral systems in Karamojong Bahima. Out of the 4.5 million cattle and only 3.4 percent is improved dairy breeds. The productivity of exotic breeds outstrips that of indigenous breeds. Cattle production in the country is also varied, a national dairy policy is presently being drafted in the hope of increasing milk productivity in the country.

1.0 Introduction

Agriculture continues to dominate the economy of Uganda accounting for over 60% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employing over 80% of the population.

The Agricultural sector in Uganda is dominated by smallholder farmers estimated to be 2.2 million, each farming 2 – 3 hectares of land.

Uganda is endowed with fertile soils and favourable climate for agricultural production and is usually referred to as the “Pearl of Africa”.

2.0 Uganda - Fact Sheet

2.1 Location

Uganda lies astride the equator, between 4 degrees 12 “North and 1 degree 29” south. It is also located between longitudes 29 degrees 34" and 35 degrees East.

2.2 Climate

Average Rainfall - 1 000 - 1 500 mm
Maximum Temperature - 30 degrees C
Minimum Temperature - 15 degrees C

2.3 Other Resources

Total Size - 241,020.95
Total Human Population - 17 million
Population Growth - 3.1%

3.0 Milk Production and Supply

3.1 Cattle Resources

Commercial milk is obtained from cattle. Sheep and goat are not milked for commercial milk as the number of improved milk type sheep and goats is negligible. The milk goat is expected to become prominent in the dairy sector because many women groups are receiving goats from NGOs for income generation.

3.2 Cattle Population

The national cattle population totals approximately 4.5 million heads (PARC, 1991), and 3.4 percent of the total national cattle population is improved dairy breed types (exotic and crossbreeds).

There are about 3.5 million cattle in the milk shed areas in the south of latitude One degree North, extending from Mbale in the East to Kabarole in the West and Kabale in the South and the balance 1.0 million cattle are in areas to the north of this latitude. About 4 percent of the cattle in the milk shed areas are improved dairy breed types (exotic and crossbreds).

3.3 Cattle Breed Types

There are three main types of indigenous cattle in Uganda, i.e. the Small East African short horned Zebu, Ankole longhorn and Karamajong.

The main improved dairy breed types are purebred Friesian, Jersey, Guernsey, Ayrshire and Brown Swiss breeds and their crosses mainly with the indigenous breeds.

3.4 Performance of Indigenous Vs Improved Breeds

Typical milk production performance are (excluding suckling calf consumption): Friesian purebred 10 – 20 litres/day, Friesian grade/ crossbred 5 – 9 litres/day; Indigenous 1 – 4 litres/day (see Table 1).

6Acting Commissioner, Animal Production, Ministry of Agriculture, Uganda.

Table 1: Variation in Performance of Indigenous and Improved Dairy Cows in Uganda

VariableIndigenous BreedImproved Breed
Age at first calving (mo)25–6142–60
Milk production (kg)227–998318–817
Lactation length (days)223–280212–239
Calving interval (mo)11–1416–24
Mature weight (kg)254–450350–500
Mature weight female (kg)270–318200–400

3.5 Present Total National Annual Production of Milk

The present total national production of milk, that is milk sales plus domestic consumption but excluding suckled calf consumption, is about 365 million litres. This cattle estimate is based on the following assumptions: Indigenous cattle: 4.06 million, adult cows 45%, calving 50%, lactation 200 days, yield 350 litres. Improved cattle: 0.14 million, adult cows 45%, calving 60%, lactation 240 days, yield 1200 litres. The calculations have been made as follows (see Table 2).

3.6 Supply Projections

The supply projection to the year 2005 for the three scenarios namely low, medium and high, are +2% and 16% per year respectively (see Table 3). The projection for the low scenario assumes that the present level of production support services will improve slightly because of existing international donor assisted projects, and that pipeline projects will be implemented e.g. the IDA assisted Livestock Services Projects.

The projection for the medium scenario assumes that the present level of production support services will improve not only because of existing international donor assisted projects, and that pipeline projects will be implemented, e.g. the IDA assisted Livestock Services Project, but also that other dairy development projects will be financed, e.g. strengthening of research, education and training, extension, farmer training and improving the Artificial Insemination Service. The medium scenario assumes a more effective extension service and improved adoption rates by farmers of better dairy husbandry techniques. The medium scenario assumes that the marketing of milk and dairy cattle is improved and that the effective demand for the raw milk increases because the purchasing power of consumers increases in correspondence to the future rate of economic growth of Uganda.

The projection for the high scenario assumes that the same factors as the medium scenario will result in increased milk production, but that the positive effect of these factors will be greater.

3.7 Seasonality of milk production

Milk production is affected directly by the seasonal distribution of rainfall and resulting seasonal production of forage in the main milkshed areas south of latitude one degree North, the rainfall pattern is bimodal with two wet seasons (March-April and October-November), and two dry seasons (December-January).

4.0 Milk Production Systems

4.1 Milk Shed Areas

The main milk shed areas producing milk for sale, commercial milk shed areas, lie south of latitude One Degree North extending from Mbale in the East to Kabarole in the West and Kabale in the South.

4.2 Farming Systems in Uganda

On the basis of the soil, vegetation, climate and current land use, it is possible to divide Uganda into a number of clearly defined farming systems:

4.1.1 Banana and Coffee (robusta)

In this region Bananas and coffee (robusta) are the main food and cash crops respectively. Animal production is characterized by intensive poultry keeping piggeries and some dairying.

Table 2: Assumptions Used in Making Milk Production

No. of cattle (mill)
% adults45.0045.00 
% calving50.0060.00 
Lactation (days)200.00240.00 
Yield (ltr/day)1.755.00 
Production p/a (m.ltrs)319.0745.04365.01

Table 3: National Milk Supply Production and Projections

Milk Production
(million litres)
Low scenario365395436482
Medium scenario365427520632
High scenario365461617825

NOTE: Projections are based on 2% and 1% increase for the year 2000 and 2005 respectively

Average farm size is one to two hectares but in some isolated cases farmers have over fifty hectares for crops and grazing. Except for the cut-and-carry enterprises, dairy farms are mostly fenced and have exotic or grade cattle.

Within the cut and carry system, the main feed in Napier grass supplemented with legumes and other crop residues. In some cases concentrate feed is also used.

4.1.2 Medium Attitude Banana-Coffee System

Arabica coffee and bananas are the main crops in this system and livestock is not an important component of the system though households usually keep one or two cattle and small stock. Stall feeding of dairy cattle is practised using the same feeding components on above.

4.1.3 Western Banana-Coffee Cattle System

Mixed farming is common in this region. Fallowing is practised but fallow periods are much shorter due to the high population densities. Farm sizes are and average one to two hectares in the more highly densely populated areas and four to fifteen hectares in the lower density. Cattle are an important component of this system and many farmers keep exotic or grade cattle in fenced farms.

4.1.4 Banana - Millet - Cotton System

This region runs from the east to the west of the country. As the dry season becomes more distinct, away from Lake Victoria, coffee is replaced by millet and cotton and there is more reliance on annual cropping.

Some areas in this region are unsettled and the cattle population is reduced by tsetse files and rustling. Many fenced ranches, however, have been introduced in these areas, where beef cattle were originally kept, but the new policy in advocating for dual purposes with the introduction of dairy production as well. In the near future milk coolers may be required in this area for an surplus milk which may need to be marketed elsewhere.

4.1.5 Montane System, Kigezi Sebei-Coffee System

This can be subdivided into 3 systems:

  1. Kigezi Annual Food Crop Systems - where human population is very high and farm land very scarce. Grazing land is equally scarce but there are fenced farms at the bottom of the valleys, growing very productive Kikuyu star grasses and clovers.

  2. Rwenzori Foothills System - - Cattle are not particularly important here.

4.1.6 Pastoral Systems (Karamojong and Bahima)

This is a system found in Karamajong and the south-western Uganda (Mbarara of Bahima) which is dominated by unreliable rainfall and the long dry season. Cattle are of particular importance in this system and currently the Bahima produce the bulk of the milk that feeds the Dairy Corporation. This milk, transported fresh (in refrigerated trucks) over 200 miles. Processing of the milk into powder and also production for export to neighbouring Rwanda would be an important development in this region.

Much of the rural agriculture in Uganda is 90% carried out by women under which falls the zero grazing system of management. Zero grazing has been supported by government and some non-government organizations such as the YWCA, Heifer Project International and Send-A-Cow of UK.

5.0 Cattle Production

Cattle production systems in Uganda is under the following:

5.1 Animal Breeding

5.1.1 National Breeding Policy

At present there is no document describing the official national cattle breeding policy but a National Breeding Committee has been established under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to prepare such a doucment whose draft is now ready.

The breeding practice for improving dairy production has been, and continues to be, to import temperate dairy breeds mainly Friesian but also Jersey and Guernsey, for crossing with indigenous cattle, grading up, and establishment of purebred dairy herds.

5.1.2 Importation of Breeding cattle and Bovine Semen

Government and private sector importations of dairy breeding cattle has continued since 1985 and the artificial insemination service of Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries imports Friesian, Jersey and Guernsey semen free through the FAO of UK Bovine Semen Donation Scheme. Recently, donations have been received from Heifer Project International (USA) and Send-A-Cow (UK). The farmers in Uganda traditionally breed cattle for increased production and to generate more income to improve their livelihood. As a result even pastoralists demand Artificial Insemination services so as to improve their cattle.

5.2 Fodder Resource

5.2.1 Forage Resource and Pasture Production

Forage resources are used to support cattle production throughout Uganda and these resources range from extensive natural grassland supporting semi-nomadic pastoralism as well as unfenced communal grazing to perimeter fenced farms with paddocks of natural or planted grasses these forage resources are the main food resource of cattle with respect to commercial milk production and the challenge is to make these areas of forage more productive so as to support a higher production from the national herd.

The strategy for improving the forage resources on fenced farms involves having seeds and vegetative material of improved grasses and legumes readily available for dairy cattle owners, and an extension service to help farmers to manage the improved forages profitably.

Under the UNDP/FAO Milk Production Enchancement Programme, grass and legume seeds were produced in three ways:

The total seed yield from the programme between April 1989 and August 1991 is given in Table 4.

5.3 Animal Feed Industry

5.3.1 Feed Mills

There are about thirty one feed mills in Uganda, the use of feeds it depended upon the farm-gate prices received from milk sales. There is higher demand for poulutry than cattle feeds. Cattle feed is mostly utilized by commercial milk producers in the milk shed areas of Kampala, Jinga and Mbale where the farm-gate price obtained for raw milk is higher than that obtained elsewhere in the country.

Table 4: Varieties and Quantities of Legume Seed Production 1989–1991

Chloris gayana1097--1097
Panicum maximum--10951095

Source: Report on the Dairy Development Committee Members' Field Tour, 1991.

6.0 Livestock Research

6.1 Present Status of Cattle Research

Dairy production research is virtually non-existent due to the damage to and looting of research premises and research premises and facilities during the period of the civil disturbances. This has been compounded by lack of adequate funds from national government and outside sources to rehabilitate and equip the centres.

Agricultural and livestock research in Uganda is now under the Department of National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) which reports to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) who have already prioritised some areas to embark on.

6.2 Extension and Farmer Training

Extension for farmers in Uganda is through the Unified Extension, a form of Training and Visits methodology. Extension and dairy farmer training programmes are incorporated into most smallholder schemes such as Heifer Project International, Rural Milk Production and Marketing Enchancement Programme, and Send-A-Cow Heifer Project.

The Rural Milk Production Programme had significant success between 1987 and 1992 resulting in increased production from smallholders from capacity of 1.0 million to 26 million litres per year (See Figure 1).

Figure 1: Growth in Milk Production in Uganda (1977–1992)

Figure 1

UGANDA 1977–1992

6.3 Animal Health Services

Animal health is a critical factor in our animal production and the government effort to control at least the major diseases in the country.

6.3.1 Main Cattle diseases

The main cattle diseases are Rinderpest, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia, Trypanosomiasis, Foot and Mouth Disease and Tickborne diseases mainly East Coast Fever, Helminthiasis Brucellas, Heartwater, Anthrax and Lumpy Skin.

The provision of animal health services is organised into Government field and diagnostic services and Private animal health services.

6.4 Manpower Development and Education

The main education and training institutions relevant to dairy sector development are Makerere University (Department of Animal Science and Faculty of Veterinary Medicine), Bukalasa Agricultural College, and Sixteen District Farm Institutes which run short courses for farmers and refresher courses for the Ministry staff and a Dairy School at Entebbe. A regional network targeting dairy development would greatly boost our manpower capacities by training and promoting exchange of information and resource people in the different regions. Retional exchange of information can also help by providing details on training standards, dairy methods and techniques used in the members countries.

7.0 The Market for Milk and Diary Products

7.1 Domestic Demand for Milk

The average per capita milk consumption in Uganda was 22.0 litres per annum (Household Survey, 1990).

This per capita consumption is however, heavily weighted towards the urban areas and it also compares unfavourably with some other cities or countries internationally as it is only one quarter that of urban Kenya and less than a fifth that of the UK. This is an indication that there is considerable latent potential for increasing milk consumption in the capital, Kampala, the main market in Uganda.

The urban income group account for 61% of the household but only consumes 22.5% of the milk (see table 5). 37.3% of milk consumed is consumed by those in the highest expenditure group although they accounted for only 10.7% of households. The 61% of the milk (see Table 6).

7.2 Demand Projections

Three demand estimates are envisaged and summarised below:

In the projections, the effect of restructuring the marketing system and introducing competition is also incorporated. The restructuring exercise is expected to bring efficiencies and cost reductions across the industry. The costs are assumed to reach 20% by the year 2000, under the best circumstances, and to be passed on to the consumer in the form of reduced prices.

Table 5: Average Household Expenditure on Fresh Milk by Urban Expenditure Group

Expend. groupKampalaJinja
(000 UGS)UGSLtr eqUGSLtr eq
50 – 1003,56517.83,30816.5
All groups2,83414.22,61113.1
 UGSLtr eqUGSLtr eq
All groups1,1175.62,98814.9

Source: Report on the Uganda National Household Budget Survey (1989–90), MEPD, 1991 and Consultant's estimate Milk price, Oct. 1989.

Table 6: Projected demand for Marketed Milk ('000 litres)

Kampala & Entebbe31,36554,87986,758118,461
Other urban3,7346,53410,32914,103
Rural Uganda164,445215,323290,270352,578
of which

7.3 The Domestic Market

There are three outlets for milk sales in Uganda:

8.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

In conclusion, the following recommendations are hereby made:

Figure 2: Marketing Channels for Milk, 1990/91 (m litres liquid equivalent

Figure 2

Source: The Consultant's estimate


Agricultural Sector Survey 1986 – 1987. 2nd edition, July 1989. EEC/WFP, Dairy Development Committee. Ministry of Animal Industry and Fisheries, Planning Department.

Report on Uganda National Census of Agriculture and Livestock (1990 – 1991), UNDP/FAO NCAL, Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries.

Payne, W.J.A., 1970. Cattle Production in the Tropics, Volume 1: General Introduction and Breeds and Breeding, Longman, pp. 145 – 159.

Comparative Analysis of Milk Production by imported and local cows, 1980, Ministry of Animal Industry and Fisheries, Planning Unit. EEC Butter Oil Account IA890612

Walker, B.J., Mugerwa and W.K. Ndyanabo, July 1989. Forage Production. Annex 7 of Preparation Report of Livestock Services Project.

Livestock and Fisheries Policy and Development Programming Towards the year 2000, as of September 1989. Ministry of Animal Industry and Fisheries, Planning and Development paper 21.

Annual Report of the Department of Veterinary Services and Animal Industry, for the year ending 31 December 1990, paper 27 – 28.

Question: Is it not possible to credit repayment problems in the dairy development programme by giving loans to giving credit to groups instead of individuals?
Answer:The issue of group credit needs to be considered to increase recovery rates.
Comment:Swaziland and Zimbabwe have had more success with group lending.
Comment:In Ethiopia co-operatives are a political issue and group lending scales could be confused with the co-operatives which have been unsuccessful.




This paper provides a comprehensive description of the dairy sector in Swaziland including opportunities and constraints. The changing role of public bodies is presented as well as the dualistic nature of the sector. The paper concludes by highlighting impediments to growth in the industry.

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Location, Size and Climate

The Kingdom of Swaziland, is one of the smallest landlocked countries in Africa. It is bordered by the Republic of South Africa on the North, South and West and Mozambique in the East. It lies between 30 and 32 degrees longitudes East and 25 and 27 degrees parallels South, and has an area of 17364 square km. It is divided roughly into four topographical zones running in a North-South direction each with different climatic conditions as show in Table 1.

Most of the rain (75 – 80%) falls in the summer months of October to March. However, rainfall varies considerably from year to year, especially in the Lowveld where drought is a constant threat. In fact, the country suffered the worst drought in history for the period 1992 – 1994.

1.2 Land Tenure and Population

There are two forms of Land tenure systems in Swaziland. These are Swazi Nation Land (SNL) which covers about 59% of the total land area and Title Deed Land (TDL) covering 41% (inclusive of 11% urban centres).

Swazi Nation Land (SNL) is vested in the King (Head of State) who holds it in trust for the Swazi Nation. Individual ownership of land does not exist. Instead, the land is divided into chiefdoms and the King delegates authority to the chiefs to allocate arable plots and homestead sites, usually not exceeding three hectares to each family in their respective domain. The remaining and predominant area of SNL is grazed on a communal basis.

Title Deed Land (TDL) allows for absolute rights of ownership to the land holder (private property). These farms account for about 30% of total land area and range from below 100 to above 5,000 hectares in size.

In these two tenure systems, agricultural production takes place in two distinctly contrasting patterns. The SNL area is mostly characterised by subsistence farming generally under traditional methods with consequent low productivity. Traditional agriculture consists of a combination livestock (cattle mainly) and crop cultivation in particular maize which is a staple diet. On the other hand, the majority of privately owned farms are operated commercially and produce a variety of cash crops and citrus farming and/or ranching.

The country is largely mountainous which puts considerable pressure on the scarce land resource for farming purposes. Only about 20% is considered arable with a population density per arable land unit of about 257 persons/km.

The population in 1994 was estimated to be 894,000 (47% under the age of 15 years). The population is fairly evenly distributed across the four regions reflecting the fact that the country is devoid of natural barriers inhibiting human settlement.

Since the milk sold to the Board is not sufficient to produce the products indicated in Table 3, the deficit is met through imports.

7 Information and Extension Manager, Swaziland Dairy Board

Table 1. Main Agro-Ecological Zones of Swaziland

Highveld50291300+10.822.61000–2300Near Temperate

GDP growth averaged 2.8% per annum between 1989 and 1993 which indicated levels below the average population growth rate of 3.2% per annum. Although there was an average increase of 14.1% per annum in the value of exports between 1989 and 1993, this has not offset the increase in the value of imports which have also grown by 19.6% during the same period. The exports are largely dominated by wood products, textiles, drink concentrates, paper products, refrigerators and sugar while imports are dominated by manufactured goods, food and live animals, chemicals and chemical products and machinery and equipment.

The Livestock sector, including the Dairy Subsector, contributed 20% of the total agricultural contribution to GDP in 1993.

2.0 The Dairy Sub-Sector

2.1 Dairy General

Swaziland's dairy sub-sector is still very small with an infant industry. Out of a national herd of about 626,356 cattle, only about 5,829 herd are improved and pure breed dairy animals. Approximately 22.5 million litres of milk are produced in the country.

This accounts for only 32.6% of the estimated milk consumption of 69 million litres per annum and the balance is met through imported milk and milk products.

Milk as a source of protein ranks second to beef and competes closely with poultry. However, the increase in the cost of beef and poultry in recent years has increased the demand for milk tremendously.

2.2 Commercial Production and Marketing

2.2.1 Milk Production

Milk production in Swaziland is divided into the traditional and commercial sectors.

a. The Traditional Sector

The traditional sector refers to the seasonal production of milk from the beef herds in particular the local Nguni breed (produce one 1 –2 litres/day). The cows are milked during the summer months mainly when they have freshly calved and the grass is green and palatable.

In 1994, this sector produced about 13 million litres from 56,139 cows. Most of the milk from this sector is consumed at home and any surplus is either given to neighbours or sold locally to increase farm income.

b. The Commercial Sector

This refers to milk production from dairy breeds and crosses. The milk from this sector is marketed as follows:

The Swaziland Dairy Board (SDB) plant is the main route for milk marketing in the country. However, some large scale milk producers with pasteurising plants have started to take a significant share of the fresh milk market.

Unlike the Swaziland Dairy Board, the only pasteurise and market milk produced on their own farms.

Milk produced and sold to the Swaziland Dairy Board plant in 1994 is shown in Table 2.

The Swaziland Dairy Board plant receives milk from farmers around the country which is either collected by its own tankers at cost or brought by the farmers. High quality milk production is encouraged by means of premium bonuses and poor quality milk is discouraged by deductions. Payment for the milk is done once a month and is based on quantity and quality.

2.2.2 Dairy Farmers Organisations

There are two dairy farmers organisations in the country. The Milk Producers Association was formed mostly by TDL farmers and the Dairy Cooperative Society serves SNL farmers mainly. The total membership for both organisations is about 200.

The main aim of these organisations is to pool resources together so as to increase milk production in the country and assist members to get profits.

2.2.3 Milk and Milk Products

The Swaziland Dairy Board, a parastatal organisation under the ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is charged with the responsibility of developing and marketing dairy products in the country. Currently the Board is operating and managing the National Dairy Processing plant. Products produced and marketed by the plant in the past five years are shown in Table 3.

Since the milk sold to the Board is not sufficient to produce the products indicated in Table 3, the deficit is met through imports.

Table 2. Milk Produced and Sold to SDB in 1994

No. of Farmers28072352
No. of Cows8202 5593 379
Total Head of Dairy Cattle1 6614 7786 439
Milk Produced
1 322 739
7 854 679
9 177 418
Milk sold to SDB
29 336
4 204 572
4 233 908
Milk not sold to SDB
1 293 4033 650 1074 943 510

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives
Note: Figures in brackets indicate numbers of farmers.

3.0 Dairy Development Policy

Like most developing Commonwealth Countries in Africa, Swaziland does not have a specific dairy development policy. Instead, Dairy projects are formulated and implemented on the basis of the overall Government policy in the Agricultural Sector.

The overall Government policy in the Agricultural sector is to improve the quality of rural life and well being to transform the Swazi farmers to make the transition from subsistence to commercial production.

Table 3: Milk Product Lines in Swaziland (Litres)

 UmcengeFresh milkEmasiLobhalaza & JeleleYoghurtSub TotalJuicesGrand Total

Source: Swaziland Dairy Board

To guide its development strategy, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives (MOAC) has the following broad objectives:

The mechanism for accomplishing these objectives are the development strategies and programmes implemented by the various MOAC Departments and Units.

The Dairy subsector has followed the following policy goals in dairy development programmes:

The goals are aimed at reducing the county's dependence on the importation of liquid milk and dairy products. However, it is realised that small scale dairy farmers cannot bring about the desired change alone and therefore support to the large scale commercial farmers on Title Deed Land remains essential.

The following programmes have been implemented to accomplish these goals:

It is however unfortunate that some of these programmes have been suspended due to the unavailability of funds to carry them through to their successful completion. Affected programmes included: Artificial insemination, Bull centres, and provision of inputs to small scale producers.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is currently formulating more specific policies for Land use Planning and Agricultural Production sectors. The Livestock Development policy, which includes the dairy subsector, has been finalised and currently being considered by Government. One of the main features for the production and development is the commercialization of activities and operations of small scale farmers and the privatisation of activities and operation which hitherto have been run by the Government or parastatal bodies.

The Livestock Development Policy places more emphasis on self-sufficiency in livestock products as well as sustainable livestock production.

Within the dairy subsector, the parastatals body which has been running both the commercial and regulatory activities of the dairy industry will now be limited to regulatory functions and its commercial activities privatized. The form of privatization preferred will bring the private sector and primarily the producers into a joint venture. This is aimed at achieving stability and a fair and equitable distribution of wealth within the sector to ensure the sustainability of the industry in the long term.

4.0 Dairy Development Constraints

  1. Lack of dairy development policy is a major constraint in itself.
  2. The land tenure system on SNL is a limiting factor for increased milk production by small scale dairy farmers.
  3. Small scale dairy farmers do not have easy access to credit facilities because they lack the required collateral.
  4. There is insufficient number of properly trained personnel in both the production and processing sector of the dairy industry.
  5. There is insufficient funds to carry out dairy development activities.
  6. Lack of transport to carry out essential services in particular artificial insemination.
  7. Shortage of dairy cows/heifers is another constraint.
  8. There is limited commitment to sponsor dairy extension.

5.0 Conclusion

Presently the government of the Kingdom of Swaziland is being assisted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation through the project TCP/SWA/4553 to prepare a Nation Dairy Development Plan for a ten year period. This project also includes the establishment of model smallholder milk marketing groups and it is still in its early stages of implementation. It is expected that the project will be completed in 1997 and will help in boosting milk production in the country.

Comment:The major constraints faced by farmers emanated from lack of expertise and extension training was not effectively done. There is need to redress the issue of extension training.
Comment:The percentage share of smallholder dairy sector was not clear, could this be clarified?
Answer:Accurate numbers of smallholder dairy producers was not easy to quantify due to the segmented nature and lack of organisation of traditional dairies.
Question:How was traditional sour milk commercially marketed?
Answer:Through the use of culture and packages, flexible packages have replaced plastic containers.
Comment:The problem of pricing structure disadvantaging local products vis-a-vis imported products could be alleviated by import restrictions. Import restrictions had however failed to curb influx of illegally imported dairy products in Swaziland.


A.P. Masanje8


The Tanzanian agricultural sector contributes about 50% of the GDP and employs over 80% of the population with the livestock sub-sector employing about 27% of the population. Three systems are involved in dairy production namely the traditional, small-scale and the large-scale sectors.

The traditional sector produces 20% of the national milk production and only 5 to 10% of the milk from the traditional and smallholder sectors is marketed in formal markets. Efforts to organise milk collecting schemes from these sectors have encountered various difficulties.

The commercial sector has been dominated by a parastatal the National Dairy Board which has been encumbered by poor physical infrastructure, breakdown of cooling systems, low demand for processed milk etc. The performance of the commercial dairy sector has declined in recent years, restructuring and privatization of processing plants has been recommended.

Presently the Livestock Policy is emphasizing the establishment of small-scale processing centres to process surplus milk in traditional and small-scale sectors and the paper outlines the prerequisites needed for effective milk collection schemes.

8 Chief Veterinary Officer, Tanzania Dairy Farming Company Limited.

1.1 Introduction

Tanzania has an area of approximately 930,000 km2 with an estimated human population of 28 million. It is predominantly an agricultural country, with the agricultural sector contributing about 50% of the country's GDP, employing more than 80% of the total population and contributing more than 70% of the foreign exchange earnings.

The livestock sub-sector also occupies an important place in the Tanzania agricultural sector contributing about 27% of the gross value output of this sector and employing about 10% of the population. According to the 1984 Livestock Census the country had 12.5 million cattle, 6.5 million goats and 3.1 million sheep (Ministry of Agriculture, 1984). There were also an estimated 100,000 pigs and 20 million poultry. The majority of cattle (about 99%) are the small BOS indicus Tanzania Shorthorn Zebu (TSZ) which are owned by traditional pastoralists and mixed farmers who practice communal grazing systems as shown in Table l. The larger Zebu types, mainly Boran, are found in parastatal farms and private ranches and in government farms. These constitute about 1% of the national herd.

The Tanzania dairy industry is still in its infancy. The bulk of the milk produced in the country originates from the traditional cattle herd and is consumed at the household with very little reaching the commercial market. The commercial dairy sector has approximately 143,400 dairy cattle and contributes about 20% of the total milk production. Productivity levels of the existing cattle population of Zebus, Crossbred and improved breeds are below their potential due to a number of constraints. Poor nutrition and husbandry methods, lack of well defined breeding programmes and disease are among the major causes of low productivity.

In spite of the lack of actual demand and supply data, it has been observed that the supply of milk and milk products is inadequate to meet demand particularly in urban areas. In an attempt to meet the demand for milk the country has had to import considerable quantities of dairy products notably Dry Skimmed Milk Powder (DSMP) and Butter Oil (BO). Most of these have been donations from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the European Economic Community (EEC). A small quantity of milk and milk products of which the actual amounts are unknown has also been imported from the commercial market by private traders.

In order to meet the ever increasing demand for milk and milk products Tanzania has adopted various strategies for developing the diary industry which emphasized on local milk production, processing and marketing (Maeda, 1977).

2.0 Milk Production Systems

Dairy production in Tanzania is based on cattle and is categorized into three main systems namely:

Table 1: Cattle Numbers by Regions (1984)

RegionIndegenous CattleImproved Dairy CattleImproved Beef CattleTotal Cattle

Source: Livestock Census, 1984

2.1 Traditional Sector

The traditional small-scale dairy sector is dominant both in terms of the number of cattle and persons involved in milk production. Milk production is based on the Tanzania Shorthorn Zebu (TSZ) kept by traditional pastoralists and mixed farmers.

The traditional system is characterized by low inputs in feeding and management which results in low production. Nevertheless, this sector is still the main source of milk produced and consumed in the country as shown in Table 2. About 80% of the estimated annual production or 468 million litres of milk comes form this sector.

Table 2: Milk Production and Consumption Estimates by RegionAnnual Milk Yield (‘000’ Lt).

RegionsTraditional CattleDairy CattleTotalRecombined FreshHuman Population ‘000’Per Capita Consumpti on

Source: Livestock Census, 1984

The supply of milk from the traditional sector varies with seasons. There is normally surplus milk during the rain season, when pastures are plentiful and of reasonably good quality, and very little milk during the dry season when forage is scanty and of low nutritive value. Most of the milk produced by this sector is consumed at home. Where and when surpluses occur, particularly during the rain season, the milk is sold to urban centres. Various attempts have been made in the past to make the milk surpluses available to the commercial markets by establishing cooling centres and collection networks as well as establishing village level processing. Such attempts were made in Tabora, Shinyanga, Mwanza, Mara and Singida regions, but due to the deterioration of the infrastructure this activity could not be sustained.

In spite of the current low productivity levels of the indigenous cattle, the traditional dairy sector has good prospects for improving dairy production in the country, through selection and cross breeding coupled with improvements in feeding and management and by establishing cooling centres and collection networks.

2.2 Smallholder Dairy Farming

This form of dairy production was well developed in Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions even before the country's independence in 1961. Production was based on improved cross-bred and purebred European dairy breeds procured with the assistance of local cooperative unions. The producers under this system operated small or medium size units of 2 – 5 animals under intensive or semi-intensive zero grazing systems. Milk produced was sold in the open market by individual farmers and served as an important source of cash income to farmers.

There has, however, been rapid expansion of the smallholder dairy sector starting from the mid 1980's following poor performance of large-scale parastatal dairy sector. In addition to the traditional densely populated high rainfall areas, smallholder dairying is now carried out in most major urban and peri-urban centres. The interest in raising dairy cattle among smallholder farmers in both urban and rural areas has increased tremendously due to the remarkable improvement in milk production of the exotic dairy cattle or their crosses, milk marketing and pricing. This sector has received considerable government and donor support in the fields of farmer training, extension service supply of improved dairy cattle and in the provision of essential inputs e.g. bucket spray pumps, milk buckets, milk cans, minerals and concentrate feeds (FAO, 1986).

Approximately 70% of the improved dairy cattle in the country are currently owned by the smallholder dairy farmers and 65% of the animals are found in Kilimanjaro and Arusha regions (Mpelumbe et al, 1978). Other areas with substantial smallholder dairy farming are Mbeya, Iringa, Kagera, Tanga and Dar es Salaam regions.

A recent study commisioned by the WFP indicated that total annual milk production from this sector is about 58 million litres (Tanzania Agro-industrial Services, 1993).

2.3 Large-Scale Dairy Farming

A number of commercial private dairy farms had been successfully developed prior to independence in 1961. The majority of these farms were established by the white settler community. These were mainly concentrated in the northern highland regions of Arusha and Kilimanjaro and the Southern highland regions of Iringa and Mbeya. These farmers established improved dairy production systems which involved the use of exotic and cross-bred dairy cattle, improved feeding and management, and husbandry practices. These farmers generally had control of the retail outlets and sold their milk directly to consumers in the urban centres. Due to the general shortages of dairy products and the increasing urban population the milk prices were generally high and this was a big incentive to these producers.

After the Arusha Declaration in 1967, most of the private large-scale dairy farms were abandoned. To meet the increasing demand for milk and milk products in urban centres and because of the declining output from the private commercial dairy farms the Government spearheaded new investments into the sector. The primary objective was to increase milk production with the long-term goal of attaining self sufficiency.

Major investments into the sector were carried out through the Dairy Development Project (Phase l) which was initiated in 1975 and was financed by the World Bank (Mwakatundu and Mpatwa, 1975). Great emphasis was placed on establishing large-scale dairy farms as a means of attaining a faster rate of milk production by introducing modern technology in the form of exotic dairy cattle and machinery to the farms. Other areas which received attention included smallholder dairy sector milk collection, processing and distribution research and training.

Major beneficiaries of the project included Tanzania Dairy Farming Company Ltd (DAFCO), Mkonge Livestock Company (MLICO), and the National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO). The commercial large-scale parastatal farms are estimated to own 30,000 head of cattle. Milk production by this sector has been declining as shown by production figures for Dafco (Table 3). Kilimanjaro Native Cooperative Union (KNCU), and the National Agricultural and Food Corporation (NAFCO).

Productivity of the parastatal herds is low with lactation yields averaging 1600 kg, average calving interval of 15 months and a lactation length of 280 days. It is estimated that this sector produces about 34 million litres of milk per year. Most of the milk is sold to processing plants owned by Tanzania Dairies Limited (TDL).

Among the major constraints which contributed to the poor performance of the sector are:

  1. Poor pricing and marketing system.

  2. Poor management of the farms.

  3. Shortage of concentrate feeds, minerals and drugs.

  4. Shortage of funds for development of pastures and water supply systems.

  5. Shortage of funds for replacing farm machinery and equipment.

Table 3: Level of Production and Reproduction in DAFCO

YearTotal AnimalsTotal CowsMilking CowsTotal Milk Production (‘000’)Production per Cow per Day (LT)Heifers Sold

Source: DAFCO Annual Reports various years

3.0 Milk Processing and Marketing

3.1 Traditional and Smallholder Sector

Milk processing in the traditional and smallholder sectors is rather limited. Most of the milk produced by the traditional cattle keepers is for domestic consumption. Estimates show that out of the total milk produced from this sector only 5 to 10% enters the commercial market the rest is disposed of through direct sales to consumers, usually through milk vendors. Only a small quantity is sold to the dairy processing plants in areas where such facilities exist. Some small-scale milk processing existed in some of the traditional cattle keeping areas. The main units were in Mara, Tabora and Singida regions where the milk was processed into ghee and fermented milk products. The processed products were either sold locally or sent to urban centres for sale.

The smallholder sector produces milk which is usually far in excess of domestic requirements. However, like in the traditional dairy sector milk processing is very limited. The surplus milk is sold directly to consumers or through milk vendors with very little being sold to the processing plants. Farmers prefer selling their milk directly to consumers or milk vendors because they are paid promptly and the prices are usually higher than those offered by TDL. However, milk sold directly to consumers by milk vendors carries serious health risks.

3.2 Commercial Sector

Large-scale dairy processing is very recent in Tanzania. The first plant was established at Arusha in 1967 followed by the Coastal Dairies in Dar es Salaam two years later. Over the years, large-scale dairy plants were set up in Mysoma, Utegi, Tanga and Mbeya (Lohay, 1977).

Before 1961, the dairy sector including processing plants were dominated by private large estate owners. Between 1961 and 1965 the sector was under three Zonal Dairy Boards namely Northern Dairies for Arusha and Kilimanjaro, Coastal Dairies for Dar es Salaam and Mara Creameries for Mara region. These Boards were charged with among other duties the task of collecting milk and milk products from farmers, producing, processing and marketing milk and milk products, opening and running dairy farms and milk processing plants.

In 1965 the National Dairy Board was formed through Parliament Act No. 32. This new Board had wider objectives and responsibilities than the former Boards. For example it became the advisor to the government of all issues related to the dairy sector and had authority to register milk producers, processors, importers and vendors and to licence their activities and set regional milk prices. Moreover, it was authorized to enact by-laws for the governing and smooth running of the sector.

In 1975 Tanzania Dairies Limited (TDL) was formed as a subsidiary company of the defunct Tanzania Livestock Development Authority (LIDA). TDL took over the functions of Coastal Dairy Industries, Mara Dairy Company which operated Musoma and Utegi Plants, Northern Dairies Limited and Nyamwezi Creameries. TDL constructed two new plants, one in Mbeya (1975) and another one in Tanga (1980).

TDL was given the responsibility of collecting milk from farmers, processing and selling the milk and milk products to consumers who are predominantly urban dwellers. It was also given the task of reconstituting milk from imported dried skim powder and butter oil most of which was brought to the country by WFP and EU under the commodity aid programme. Another function entrusted to TDL was to process or assist in processing seasonal surplus milk into ghee and cheese in small processing facilities located in villages. However, for most of the time TDL has been concentrating more in the operation of its seven milk plants namely Dar-es-Salaam, Arusha, Utegi, Mbeya, Musoma, Tabora and Tanga (see Table 4).

It is estimated that TDL collects about 3% of the available fresh milk from the nearby catchment areas. As a result dependence on imported recombining materials remains persistently high as shown in Table 5. There was however, a slight improvement in fresh milk collection in 1991.

The main problems which have generally affected TDL's collection system in the country are:

Table 4: Proportion of fresh milk collected and imported reconstituting materials

Year% Local Fresh Milk% Imported reconstituting milkYear% Local Fresh Milk% Imported reconstituting Milk

Source: WFP “Dairy Development” Project Sector

Table 5: Plants Capacities and Fresh Milk Intakes per year (‘000’ Lt) 1979 – 1991

 Dar es SalaamArushaUtegiMusomaTaboraTangaMbeyaTotal
Installed Capacity (Lt)32,85025,55016,42516,4251,82514,6005,840113,515

Source: TDL Reports (1979 – 1991)

4.0 Future Strategies for Milk Production

4.1 The Traditional and Smallholder Dairy Sectors

During the past two decades dairy development efforts were concentrated on large-scale farms and the large-scale processing sector. Recently, however, a change of policy has taken place and more emphasis is now being placed on the smallholder dairy sector.

The major constraints to production in this sector have been identified as follows:

An integrated approach has been adopted to develop and strengthen the smallholder dairy sector. In the package approach the sector is assisted in getting improved dairy cattle and extension services are offered including training of farmers at farmer training centres. Farmers are assisted in procuring essential inputs such as bucket spray pumps, milk buckets, milk cans, minerals and concentrate feeds.

In the initial stages the sector received considerable support from the government and donor agencies. However, for sustainable development of the sector, farmers are being encouraged to form producer and marketing co-operatives to take care of the needs of the members in the fields of enterprise and organisation management of inputs and marketing of produce.

4.2 The Large-Scale Dairy Sector

The large-scale dairy sector will continue to play an important role in dairy production in the country. However, the parastatal sector will be restructured to emphasize accountability and to differentiate regulatory commercial and development functions.

The parastatals will be privatised in order to attract additional investment required for rehabilitation and expansion of the farms. Furthermore, privatization will allow new management skills to be introduced into the enterprises. New private sector enterprises will be encouraged to take up large-scale dairy farming.

5.0 Future Strategies for Milk Processing and Marketing

5.1 The Traditional and Smallholder Sector

Although the bulk of milk produced in Tanzania still originates from the traditional cattle herd and increasingly from the smallholder sector, in both systems milk processing and marketing has not received adequate attention. This has resulted in some areas having surplus milk which cannot be easily disposed of. This in turn has tended to discourage some producers from increasing production.

The Livestock Policy of Tanzania emphasized setting up small scale processing centres in the rural areas where seasonal or permanent surpluses of milk exist and where viable markets can be developed for fresh milk or manufactured products. Furthermore, the establishment of milk collection schemes was envisaged. Adoption of these schemes is expected to provide a ready outlet for surplus milk and thus stimulate further economic milk production.

In setting up small-scale dairy processing units at village level the following will be emphasized:

The pre-requisites for the establishment of an efficient milk collection scheme are:

The establishment of milk collection schemes requires the support of government (local or central) especially in the establishment of the required infrastructure. The farmers' organisations could contribute in setting up the cooling centres and in the procurement and operation of the vehicles.

5.2 The Commercial Sector

The commercial dairy processing sector's performance has been declining in recent years and a number of constraints have been identified. These include low intake of fresh milk from farmers, aging machinery and equipment and poor pricing policy for raw milk and processed products. (Ministry of Agriculture, 1987 and 1992)

In order to revamp the sector the following measures will be taken:

6.0 Conclusion

Tanzania has good prospects for improving dairy production if appropriate milk production and marketing strategies are adopted. Current land use patterns, natural resources, technology and management skills suggest that emphasis should be placed on developing small farmer models as a basis for promoting an economic and sustainable system. Dairy Development initiatives need to concentrate on improving production and productivity among small-scale farmers. The co-operative societies which are being formed in different parts of the country are expected to play a big role in bringing about improvement in agricultural marketing in the country.


FAO 1986: FAO Dairy Development Mission to Arusha/Kilimanjaro Area.

Lohay, A.B., 1977, “Dairy Production and Processing in Tanzania”. Proc. 4th Sci. Conf. Tanzania Soc. Animal Prod.

Maeda, N.K., 1977. Government Policy on Dairy Production in Tanzania: Proc. 4th Sci. Conf. Tanzania Soc. Animal Prod.

Ministry of Livestock Development June 1983. The Livestock Policy of Tanzania Government Printer, Dar es Salaam.

Ministry of Agriculture 1984. Livestock Census.

Ministry of Agriculture: Basic data Agriculture and Livestock Sector 1986/87 -1991/92.

Mpelumbe, I.S., Hedley, B.R., and Scotland, J.A., 1978. “Contributions of Small Scale Dairy to the Dairy Industry, Proc. 5th Sci. Conf. Tanzania Soc. Animal Prod. 45 – 54.

Mwakatundu, A.G.K. and Mpatwa, N.G., 1975. “The Strategy of Dairy Development in Tanzania”. Proc. 4th Sci. Conf. Tanzania Soc. Animal Prod. 11 – 38.

National Environment Action Plan, 1994. Ministry of Tourism, Natural Resources and Environment.

Tanzania Agro-Industrial Services, 1993. Village Level Milk Processing and Marketing in Tanzania.

Question:The Tanzanian government appears to be neglecting commercial dairy farming. Is this so?
Answer:Recent policy changes are putting more emphasis on smallholder farmers but this does not necessarily marginalize the commercial dairy sub-sector.
Question:The interest in rural milk processing appears to be limited. Why is it that, little interest has been given to collecting and bulking milk from the Masai who have a lot of cattle?
Answer:Though Tanzania Dairies Ltd. has the mandate to collect and process all milk in the country its processing plants are located in urban areas. The Masai milk is a source of protein for the rural population and household food security could be destabilized by commercialization. There is need to thoroughly analyse the costs and benefits before establishing milk collection points for the Masai.
Comments:Emerging smallscale processing plants are not receiving enough milk to ensure viability. This could be due to the fact that the producer prices offered are too low and there are also delays (of up to 2 months, in some cases) in payments.

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