President Yoweri Museveni has opened multi-million Amos Dairies, the latest dairy manufacturing and processing plant located Kiruhura district in South Western Uganda. He appealed to farmers in the country to engage in productive and modern farming with a view to increasing milk production so as to benefit from the emerging opportunities in the agricultural sector.
The milk processing plant, worth US$25 million is set to process 2 million litres of milk daily and will employ hundreds of Ugandans.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Sunday, President Museveni told farmers that the government had played its role by inviting investors to process milk adding that the remaining challenge was with the farmers to raise the milk to support the factory.
“We have done our part; please do yours and produce milk for this factory,” he said.
He assured Amos Dairies Limited and other dairy companies that Uganda has the potential to produce all the milk required by the up-coming processors and said that what is lacking is the sensitization of farmers on the best and profitable farming practices that they should adopt.
Mr. Museveni said that to boost farming, the government will give 6 high-breed dairy cows to every household in rural areas to help them engage in zero grazing. He said that the project is going to start off with areas that have small land holdings. He added that on top of that intervention by government, farmers who are already in the dairy sector should improve their breeds and keep cows that yield at least 20 litres each animal per day. He noted that to achieve these targets, farmers must at least produce and keep feeds for the cows to enhance the animals’ milk production.
He praised the existing Ugandan dairy farmers for their resilience saying that despite the hardships they are faced with, such as lack of modern feeds and enhancements, they have managed to produce and increase milk output.
“The cows convert nothing into something. They produce what they produce today without being fed. What would happen if they were fed,” he wondered.
Mr. Museveni commended highly Amos Dairies Ltd for accepting his invitation to invest in Uganda. He assured them that Uganda has the capacity to produce 22 million litres or more of milk per day. He, therefore, said that there is no reason why the country should not have more milk processing plants like the Amos Dairies Ltd.
“Now that you have done your part, we shall do ours. Ugandans have been keeping cows for the last 700 years without attaching a lot of commercial value to them. But now that they do, they will even produce more than the estimated 22 million litres of milk per day. There is nothing that Ugandans in this sector can fail to do especially if they are well mobilized and guided,” he added.
The President called on Resident District Commissioners and the agricultural extension workers to popularize the need to boost agricultural production. He asked the people of the area to support the dairy factory noting that on top of giving them market for their milk, it will create jobs and earn revenue for the country as well.
The Managing Director of Amos Diaries Ltd, Mr. Punti Pruthi, thanked the President for the support they have received from him and the government in putting up the factory. He noted that his company had initially rejected investing in Uganda and had opted for South America but because of the President’s intervention and support, they ended up in Uganda. He called for increased milk production by the farmers in the region saying that his company will support them to realize that objective.
Agriculture and Animal Industry Minister, Hon. Tress Buchanayandi and State Minister for Animal Husbandry, Hon. Bright Rwamirama, among others, attended the ceremony.