By Ronald Kalyango
ALL milk collection centers found adulterating milk will be closed down and their licenses will be revoked, state minister for animal husbandry; Bright Rwamirama has warned.
Rwamirama together with Dairy Development Authority (DDA) officials are currently on a countrywide tour sensitizing farmers on the recommended practices.
“We have decided to first conduct this sensitisation exercise before we start closing down all the centers that we shall find adulterating milk, operating in dirty environments and without licenses,” he explained while addressing farmers in Kyotera town council in Rakai district.
He also cautioned the big players on the market buying farmer’s milk at lower prices during the rainy season to have a uniform figure offered during periods of plenty and scarcity.
“I want you together with DDA to draft favourable agreements stipulating the right price that should be offered throughout the production cycle,” he said.
Rwamirama together with DDA officials have held several sensitisation meetings in Ntungamo, Kayunga, Nakaseke, Sembabule and Rakai districts.
DDA’s executive director; Dr. Jolly Zaribwende said traders should heed to their messages saying that nobody will be spared when they start their crack down campaign.
“It’s our duty to ensure that all the milk on the market is safe and good for our lives. We shall use the law to enforce good standards, close facilities and prosecute all the culprits found adulterating milk with water and other substances,” said Zaribwende.
She said the law stipulates the standards to be followed right from the buildings, cleanliness of the area of operation among others.
“Milk is a sensitive product, it easily goes sour and can easily be contaminated leading to endangering of lives of the consumers,” she noted.
She also explained that they (DDA) are in the final stages of rehabilitating a dairy development school in Entebbe to start offering refresher courses for people in the dairy industry.
The training school which had closed down due lack of resources will open this month and will begin offering trainings to milk assistants.
“We have planned to equip them with skills of handling milk from the udder to the table,” said Zaribwende.
She said learners will be required to pay sh160, 000 for a residential training course planned to span a period of two weeks. The amount will cater for their meals and accommodation.
However, farmers want government to address issues related with fake drugs onto the market and the continued price fluctuations.
“We are tired of buying fake drugs currently on the market. The ministry should properly regulate the sector and provide us with information regarding the existing genuine players on the market,” said Fidel Ruzindazi, a resident of Lugusulu in Sembabule district.
Other farmers asked the ministry together with its agencies to train them in hay and silage making such that they have enough fodder during the dry season.
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