How TI3P project improves dairy production

TANZANIA: THE government, through Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, has come up with a four-year (2022-2026) Tanzania Inclusive Processor-Producer Partnership in Dairy Project (TI3P) to improve dairy production.

Speaking recently during 2024 National Milk Week in Mwanza organised by Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB) TI3P Project Manager Joseph Mabula said $7 million had been received from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for beneficiary capacity building training.

“The remaining $40 million that comes from TADB serves as a non-monetary loan, but beneficiaries are given bred heifers to improve their dairy production,” he explained.

The $47 million (about Sh122 billion) project is implemented by the Government of Tanzania in partnership with Heifer International, Land O’Lakes Venture 37, as well as Tanager Organisations.

The project is set to improve the availability of fresh milk for processors, who have been receiving only 23.5 per cent of fresh milk.

Nutrition and gender inclusive are TI3P components to engage more women in animal husbandry, which has been dominated by men.

So far about 1,748 bred heifers have been distributed to beneficiaries with TI3P setting up milk collection infrastructure within pastoralist communities and near processors to facilitate dairy business.

TADB offers 25 per cent subsidy for each bred heifer price to support pastoralists as they wait for calves to grow to maturity.

Loan repayment is done through milk sales wherein processors make deductions from the fresh milk they receive and submit cash money to TADB. On top of that TI3P provides extension service support, inputs and technology transfer to pastoralists.

Urus Tanzania Company Limited Sales and Marketing Manager Meshack Timotheo advised TI3P beneficiaries to keep on replacing traditional cattle with high breeds to increase milk production.

“Cross-breeding service costs only between 30,000/- and 50,000/- depending on the kind of breed generation one needs. If a livestock keeper needs a specific breed sex (cow or bull), then he or she pays 100,000/- for fertilisation service,” said the manager.

He said his company imports high dairy breeds from Brazil and the US and a cow produces not below 40 litres of milk a day. “This is how we can improve dairy farming,” he advised Kilimanjaro Dairy Cooperative Joint Enterprises Manager Ernest Haule said there was a shortage of milk supply as demand was 10,200 litres of milk a day, but the cooperative received only 6,800 litres of milk.

He called on continued training in improved dairy production and in quality pasture throughout the year.

“The government should keep on establishing special rich pasture and encouraging investment in animal feed supplements to make complete nutritional cattle feed packages,” he said.

He also proposed a ban on unregulated milk sales to protect the health of consumers. Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency (TVLA)’s Lake Zone Researcher, Dr Enos Kamani, said people should only buy milk at authorised selling centres to avoid consuming contaminated milk.

“Consumers can contract brucellosis, a bacterial infection which spreads through drinking unpasteurised milk products or handling infected animals. Fresh milk should reach processing facilities within two hours after milking failure of which it becomes contaminated with harmful bacteria and unfit for human consumption,” said Dr Kamani.

This health condition causes serious bodily pains, with the victim facing mostly similar symptoms experienced by people with urinary tract infection, malaria and typhoid and other diseases.

The majority of Tanzanian pastoralists fail to meet dairy production requirements due to lack of facilities in their neighbourhoods and so start selling their unsafe milk to consumers.

Generally, pastoralists practise traditional animal husbandry and with this they see they don’t see any need for processing facilities.

Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC) Said Mtanda called on members of the public to heed expert advice on milk consumption requirements.

He recalled that the World Health Organisation (WHO) directed every person to drink at least 200 litres of milk annually.

The majority of livestock keepers ignore the nutritional value of milk as they prioritise milk sales, leaving nothing at home for family consumption.

“Available data shows milk consumption in Tanzania is only 62 litres to a person yearly,” he said.

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