The public in the East African region is warned against consuming unprocessed milk that can have high levels of dangerous bacteria such as salmonella and listeria capable of causing food borne illness, including potentially tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid, and streptococcal infections, and “raw milk poses a realistic health threat due to a possible contamination with human pathogens” is part of what raw milk can carry to the consumer.
Asas Dairies Ltd, Events and Marketing Manager, Jimmy Kiwelu said pasteurised milk is safe and healthy for human consumption with lots of nutrients because it is exposed to high temperatures during processing which kills harmful bacteria.
He said consuming more processed milk is economical for the nation as it enables industries to create more jobs to the majority youth.
“Drinking of processed milk if emphasised coupled by good policies can create a lot of jobs, enable the country to increase its revenues while also growing the economy.
Tanzania ranks second in milk consumption in East African member states according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report and have a per capita milk consumption of 39 kilograms way below Kenya that ranks first with 100 kilograms.
Uganda is ranked third with 32 kilograms while Rwanda hovers at fourth position with 19 kilograms against the global average of 100 kilograms.
However, he said there is still a challenge of ensuring that there is improvement in the quality of milk to meet international standards.
According to him, the dairy industry offers income opportunities to rural residents’ and access to credit for commercial dairies farmers particularly cattle-keeping tribes.
He said despite an increase in the number of smallholder dairy farmers and expanding demand for milk in the country the marketing functions of the dairy industry still seems to be lagging behind.
Diary industry produces 18,250,000 litres of pasteurised milk per annum in Tanzania an equivalent of 50,000 liters per day while the actual daily processing capacity is hardly 30 percent of the target resulting from inadequate raw milk supply.