Karonga dairy farmers decry lack of official milk markets

Dairy farmers in Malawi’s northern district of Karonga are expressing deep concern over lack of milk markets in the district which they say poses a major threat to the future of dairy cow farming.

The concern was made during Livestock Feed Preservation open day where agriculture authorities agreed to lobby for milk processer and reliable market for milk in the district to promote livestock production.

Karonga Agricultural Development Division Program Manager Daniel Yona said due to lack of marketing in Karonga farmers see no benefit in keeping livestock more especially dairy farming although the cows produce more milk.

“These dairy cows produce more milk indeed but because marketing is a problem here, and that farmers just sell their milk locally to their neighbors makes them loss interest in keeping dairy cows a challenge to us who promote livestock production,” said Yona.

Authorities site seeing  livestock garden of one  of the dairy farmers.-Photo by Tiwonge Kuwmenda, Nyasa Times

Authorities site seeing livestock garden of one of the dairy farmers.-Photo by Tiwonge Kuwmenda, Nyasa Times

Yona said the introduction of official milk market or milk processer will be one way to motivate farmers in keeping livestock and dairy farming cows in long run reducing hunger and poverty in the country.

He said that his office is trying what it can to make sure that farmers have a little something from the cows they are raising through feed preservation.

“We as agriculturalists cannot just see and watch what is happing, so we encourage these farmers not to loss hope in livestock production by teaching them on how to feed their animals so that they should produce more milk and benefit from that although they sell locally,” said Yona.

Senior  Chief  Kalonga concurred with Yona saying Karonga people are committed in developing their families by keeping livestock as such government need to consider away to help the farmers by introducing a market for them as a motivation measure.

“In Karonga we have dairy milk cows but we don’t have market, I have just heard now that there is a milk processer in Mzuzu, Bvumbwe and in Ntchisi but surprisingly we don’t have it here as such am trying to ask our District Commission Office to think in that line so that farmers should have a reliable market, because Karonga have more cows than Mzuzu or Ntchisi,” said Kalonga

However the District Commissioner Representative at the show Franklin Mtambo his office will look into the issue of having milk processer critically so that farmers should be registering huge profit from the livestock production.

“We will ask our stakeholders and our partners to come in by helping us to have a milk processer in the district which will make farmers to benefit a lot because their milk will be sold at a good price,” said Mtambo.

Yona addressing farmers at the function.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

Yona addressing farmers at the function.-Photo by Tiwonge Kumwenda, Nyasa Times

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