KAMPALA – Lato Milk, a product of Pearl Dairy Limited has unveiled a new development dubbed “Project Prosperity” that seeks to help dairy farmers increase their earnings.
Launching the initiative, Mr. Amit Sagar, the CEO of Pearl Daily Farms said it aims to increase the milk yield per cow for farmers to earn more and improve their families’ prosperity.
“We want to work with farmers to reduce the cost of production but also double our capacity in the next year cater to this growing demand,” Mr. Sagar said.
The dairy sector is currently growing at an average of 7% per annum, with some areas in South Western Uganda averaging 10 – 15% per year but a lack of resources and expensive financial interest rates hinder further growth.
The Mbarara-based Pearl Dairy Farms which produces Lato milk has been working closely with the farmers for years and in the process gaining vast knowledge on the dynamics of the sector in the country. The average milk production of cattle in Uganda is about 5-6 liters per day but Akash Kumar – Co-founder- of Pearl Daily Farms says cows in more advanced nations like New Zealand and the Netherlands can produce 20 liters.
Under this arrangement, Mr. Akash Kumar said the ultimate goal of the project is to make farmers prosper and increase their household incomes. “Wealth brings prosperity to their households and that is why we call it “Project Prosperity.”
Pearl Dairy has since unveiled a tailored approach to the needs of its milk suppliers.
One key to the company’s success has been its direct engagement with farmers. Farmers will be trained in techniques to improve quality—like sieving milk, animal husbandry, record keeping, and general hygiene around the farm.
“We are working on a technology-based application that will tell us which farmer needs what kind of investment. So currently, we have a team of about 50 daily extension offices which goes from farmer to farmer and this will help us to see how to help them,” the Pearl Dairy Farms boss said.
He added: “The annual income for the farmer has to at least triple in the next two years to 10 years. Step by step, if you ask me 10 or 15 years ago, you see that this war in Russia and Ukraine has taught us that the world has to have food security. We should not depend on one region. Africa is a continent with so many resources, including national resources. Africa should not be feeding Africa only; Africa should be able to feed the world.”
Pearl Dairy will also offer farmers incentives to deliver more milk at higher quality.
These include pre-negotiated financing with local microfinance institutions for farm improvements, with guaranteed repayments from milk proceeds; timely payments and improved logistics through additional milk collection centers adjacent to dairy farms.
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