In Senegal, despite challenging conditions, local milk production has potential. We are working with local farmers to develop the dairy value chain and get more fresh milk into schools, thereby improving food security, education and nutrition for school children.
About 46 percent of people in Senegal live in poverty and 17 percent are affected by food insecurity. Around 25 percent of the country’s children suffer stunted growth because of poor nutrition.
A typical Senegalese cow produces just 0.6 litres of milk per day, making the country’s average milk production yield one of the lowest in the world. The genetic capacity of local breeds is limited, and knowledge of farming best practices is low. As a result, the country is only 66 percent self-sufficient in milk production and 91 percent of locally-produced milk is not processed industrially. In this environment, it is hard for local dairy to compete with imported milk.
Tetra Pak West Africa, Tetra Laval Food for Development and our local customer, SIAGRO, are working with farmers to scale up milk collection, production and distribution in Senegal.
Today, SIAGRO processes 240,000 litres of milk, of which just 12 percent is locally sourced. Together, we are working to establish a Dairy Hub, with the objective to increase milk collection points and increase local sourcing to 40 percent within the next year.
We have already set up milk collection infrastructure in the Fatick region, with plans to continue expanding. Our Dairy Development Specialist has initiated training for smallholder farmers on subjects such as feed and nutrition, silage making, reproduction, and artificial insemination.
But this is just one part of the puzzle: we are also supporting the entire value chain by providing technical assistance to the school milk programme, sharing best practices learned in food safety and programme implementation worldwide.
SIAGRO has already increased the amount of milk it collects from local farmers by 59 percent, from a baseline of 18,030 litres to 28,664 litres. The knock-on effects of this along the dairy value chain are evident: with 84,100 children at 172 schools in the Dakar Department receiving school milk three days a week, enrolments have increased by 8.8 percent in the past three years.
With the model for a sustainable local dairy value chain in place, we plan to increase milk collection centres and include more farmers in the Dairy Hub. As local production increases, so can the opportunities to expand the school milk programme, which will provide nutrition to children in other regions.