Tanzania (Xinhua) -- More than 10,000 schoolchildren
in south western Tanzania are expected to benefit from the East
African one-year school milk feeding program, designed to boost
the milk yields and incomes of small-scale farmers in three East
African Community countries.
The program is being spearheaded by
Heifer International through the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD),
thanks to a 25.5 million U.S. dollars grant from the Gates
In Tanzania, the program implemented
in four southern highlands regions of Njombe, Iringa, Songwe and
Under the program, a pupil receives a
200 mls packet of fresh milk every Monday to Friday during
Christopher Ole Sendeka, Njombe
Regional Commissioner, said on Tuesday that more than 2,000
school children under the age of nine have started benefiting
from the project, which intends cultivate a strong milk drinking
culture among children and create a stable demand for milk in
the southern highlands regions.
Sendeka commended the project, saying:
“It has come at the right time when consumption of milk
remains low in the region and the country at large.”
He also lauded Heifer International
and other key partners for supporting the project, which upon
completion would transform the dairy industry in the region.
So far, Njombe Region has a total of
21,132 dairy cattle, which produces an average of 8,764,654
litres per year, according to Sendeka.
Mark Tsoxo, project manager of EADD II
Tanzania, said that the program is also meant to create stable
domestic milk markets in Southern Highlands.
Tsoxo said that the program has kicked
off in Njombe and in the next two months, Mbeya, Songwe and
Iringa regions will follow.
School children at Nundu Primary
School in Njombe region, are among those who have started
benefiting from the program, the official said.
In one year, the project is targeting
to reach out more than 10,000 pupils in Tanzania.
EADD II in Tanzania works with local
milk processors, who buy milk from smallholder farmers involved
in the EADD II project in the region.
The EADD official, in Tanzania, per
capita milk consumption is 46 litres per person per annum which
is far below the FAO and WHO recommended standard (200 litres).
Cultural issues, as well as the lack
of availability and affordability, can be attributed to the low
“This deprives populations, especially
children under 9 years who spend most of their days in
schools, from essential nutrients key to their health,
growth and performance in schools,” Tsoxo said.
“The group is a target because of
being a catastrophe by stunted growth and affected by
It estimated that stunted growth in
Njombe, Iringa and Mbeya(Including Songwe) regions are 51.5
percent, 51.3 and 36 respectively, where as HIV/AIDS infection
rates are 14.8 percent, 9.1 percent, and 9 percent in Njombe,
Iringa and Mbeya (including Songwe) respectively.
EADD Project II is a five-year project
designed to help smallholder farm families in Kenya Uganda and
Tanzania to sustainable improve their livelihoods.
The project hopes to double the daily
income of 136,000 farming households’ smallholder farm families
to achieve sustainable improved livelihoods in Uganda, Kenya and
Tanzania by 2018.