Overview of dairy processing and marketing in East African dairy value chains: Opportunities and challenges
Worldwide, the dairy sector is one of the fastest growing productive sectors. The global sector growth in the decade 2011 to 2020 is projected to be higher than that experienced in 2000 to 2010, mainly due to expected robust growth in developing countries. Global milk production in 2014 stood at about 800 million metric tons. India is the global leader in milk production accounting for 16% of output, with the USA coming second with 14.6% of global production, while Africa produces less than 10% of global output. Sub-Saharan Africa commands 0.2% of the global trade volume in the dairy sector. Egypt is the African Continental leader in milk output, as Africa remains the largest importer of milk powders, butter and ghee. The shortfalls in demand show potential investment opportunities and growth areas in the sector. The East African output of butter and ghee stands at about 15% of the African output of these products. Kenya and Uganda produce considerable amounts of processed dairy products, although, the milk processed rarely exceeds 12 to 15% of domestic milk supply, with most milk production being consumed at farm level. Tanzania produces more butter and ghee than other East African Community (EAC) members with Burundi been the least. Although, informal marketing channels, offering cheaper fresh milk are attractive, increasing decentralization of regulatory services, growing effectiveness of law enforcement and consumer awareness of the healthfulness of processed milk, will continue to reduce informal marketing of unprocessed fresh milk in EAC countries. Despite the quest for global export, the unmet domestic dairy products demand in EAC member states may slow entry into global markets. To meet the numerous requirements in export markets requires cautious, planned and systematic forays over time.