Think outside the box
Posted Monday, July 2 2012 at 20:14
Indications that some milk processors are considering reducing farm-gate prices illustrates a lack of ambition in the sector.
It has now become a ritual that following rains, the country has a glut of milk, but the supply runs out as fast as the dry season sets in.
This leads to huge price swings, both for the consumers and the farmers.
At this time and age, there is no reason why the sector should be limited to the traditional market size, demand and products.
There has been talk of aggressively pursuing new export markets and investing in top-end milk products, but this is yet to materialise, let alone stabilising the sector.
More should be done to export powdered milk in the region. Efforts should also be made to block import of milk products.
With the ever-shrinking agricultural land, more peri-urban households are turning to intensive dairy farming as a full-time engagement.
These farmers would like to participate in formal markets, but the instability kills their enthusiasm.
The dairy sector, which has the capacity to create employment, is crying for fresh and more aggressive ideas.