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Prolonged Dry Spell Forces Dairy Farmers to Hike Milk Prices :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Prolonged Dry Spell Forces Dairy Farmers to Hike Milk Prices

Kategeya only sells 40 out of the 100 liters he was getting before the dry spell.

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Dairy farmers in Mbarara have hiked milk prices because of the prolonged drought leaving consumers with tough choices to make. A liter of milk at farm gate prices has doubled from 400 shillings to 1000 shillings. As a result of the increase in the milk farm gate prices, milk vendors and coolers have also hiked their prices of a liter of milk from shillings 600 and 800 respectively to 1500 shillings.

Joy Kafura Kabatsi, one of the leading milk distributors in region says for the first time in seven years dairy farmers have been able to bag 1000 shillings per liter of milk at farm gate price. She says farmers would have earned more money if they were able to access water and pastures for animals during their dry season.

 

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Mzee Humphrey Kategaya, a dairy farmer in Kakiika Sub County in Mbarara district says despite suffering with the ongoing water crisis, lack of pasture and animal diseases, he has been able to pocket much money from the few liters of milk from his farm. Kategeya only sells 40 out of the 100 liters he was getting before the dry spell. Medina Mbabazi, who owns a milk cooling plant in Biharwe Sub County, says the milk price increase has affected their customers.

She claims that many of her customers have stopped buying milk because of the high price, while others have cut down on the liters they have been buying. Adorati Kabagambe, a milk consumer says that due to the price hike he has resorted to buying millet flour for his family. He says a kilo of millet floor, which costs 3000 shillings, takes them four days unlike two liters of milk that are consumed once.

Kabagambe also doubts the quality of milk on the market saying vendors could be taking advantage of the scarcity to mix it with water to earn more money. Stephen Aikiriza, the South Western Diary Development Authority manager says milk prices were bound to shoot up because of supply constraints.  He says milk production has dropped by about 35 percent due to the prolonged dry spell that has hit the cattle corridor.

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