TDB to construct eight ultra-modern milk access points

TANZANIA: THE Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB) is constructing eight ultra-modern milk access points (MAPs) in different primary and secondary schools in Mbeya and Morogoro regions to boost milk consumption from the grassroots.

The robust project which is part of the preliminary implementation of the eagerly-awaited School Milk Programme (SMP) is expected to start before the end of January 2024. The MAPs are expected to cost 40m/- upon completion.

TDB Registrar, Dr George Msalya said that the state-owned board is executing the project in cooperation with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and key stakeholders, chiefly the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), milk processors as well as parents.

The milk access points to be constructed will be equipped with all necessary modern facilities for milk storage and safety, such as milk refrigerators and others, he said.

He added that TDB was making efforts to source more funds and support to extend the vital service to more schools in more regions across the country.

β€œThe major focus under SMP, the programme which expects to cover the whole country, is to reach out to a total of 100 schools during its first leg, whereby the number of the beneficiary schools will increase every year for five consecutive years of the implementation with the sealing number set for 625 schools by 2027,” he detailed.

He said the board was also expected to roll out milk access points to students in 134 schools in eight regions.

The regions, according to him include Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Mwanza, Morogoro, Ruvuma, Tanga, Arusha, and Kilimanjaro.

“For instance, in Kilimanjaro, we agreed with the Kilimanjaro-based Galax Food and Beverages Ltd to design and produce small-sized processed yogurt milk sachets that are marketed to the pupils at 500/-,” he said.

He cited financial constraints as a big snag denying the board to execute the programme at the intended scope and quality.

“The SMP programme requires at least 15bn/- to run for at least five years. The healthful programme targets to benefit students within 500 schools across the country,” said Dr Msalya.

Under the programme, the milk products to be distributed to the students will be processed milk, either pasteurized, UHT, cultured milk or yogurt depending on the availability and infrastructure of the area, and the quantity of milk supplied would be of 150mls to 200mls produced, whereby parents are sensitized about the benefits of the programme and are encouraged to contribute money for the purchase of milk for their children to take during the break time.

Milk feeding programmes started way back in the early 2000s in Tanzania, and has involved different models, and have reached a peak of 125 schools and 99,000 children in the recent past.

Despite the efforts, the vital programme been limited in terms of coverage, access of dairy products to school children, and involvement of stakeholders,” according to Dr Msalya.

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