DAR-ES-SALAAM, Tanzania's leading dairy company, Tanga Fresh, will more than double its milk production from next month when its factory, based in Tanga Region (Province), increases its processing capacity to 120,000 litres a day from the current 50,000 litres.

The expansion has been made possible with an investment of 26.5 billion Tanzania shillings (about 11.8 million US dollars), says Tanga Fresh General Manager Michael Karata, who notes that the expanded processing capacity will lead to increased markets for dairy farmers in and beyond Tanga Region.

We always engage with our farmers and conduct special training as far as supply and quality assurance of the milk is concerned, says Karata. The farmers are provided with the necessary know-how on milk production both in quantity and quality, including vital measure like density and acidity.

We know by empowering our farmers it will raise the quantity and quality of the raw milk received from collection centres, he GM said during a recent industrial exhibition in Tanga. In order to supply the factory with a constant milk supply, Tanga Fresh envisages increasing the number of dairy farmers it deals with from the current 12,000 to 60,000.

On top of training, the farmers are also provided with the necessary milking equipment to make ensure quality assurance.

Marketing Manager Ally Sechonge says that in order to ensure that milk delivery targets are met, the company is building the capacity and knowledge of the dairy farmers to help them increase production.

We are working hard to build capacity among pastoralists in the region to enable them to supply the required amount of milk, Sechonge says.

Tanga Fresh is owned 42 per cent by 24 farmers' co-operatives while the remaining 58 per cent is owned by a Dutch investor.The factory, established in 1996, is producing fresh milk, plain and flavoured yoghurt, mozzarella cheese, butter and ghee, among other products.