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Minister's Directive to Close Village Coolers Draws Mixed Reactions from Farmer

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Wilson Kasana, a dairy farmer from Sanga in Lyantonde district, says closing village coolers would affect them a lot, saying cooperatives pay unfair prices to farmers.
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There are mixed feelings among dairy farmers in Ankole region over a directive by Joy K. Kabasti, the former State Minister for animal industries to close large milk cooling plants commonly known as Village coolers. 

In December 2019, Kabasti wrote to the Director Pearl Diaries, the leading milk processor in Ankole directing her to close all village coolers. 

She advised the farmers to start up cooperative societies to sell milk to Pearl Dairies, which would help them determine their own prices. 

But Wilson Kasana, a dairy farmer from Sanga in Lyantonde district, says closing village coolers would affect them a lot, saying cooperatives pay unfair prices to farmers. 

He explained that village coolers create a competitive atmosphere, which benefits farmers.   

 

//Cue In:  Nikyenda obu Dairy… 

Cue out: …Akahayahayano embeyi eyeyongyera”.//   

Samuel Kandiho, a farmer from Kiruhura district shares a different view. According to Kandiho, village coolers have made them lose hope in dairy farming because they determine milk prices.    

  

//Cue in: “Atleast amate kurinogira…       

Cue out: …Of now titukutungamu”.//

Kandiho says they spent a lot on rearing dairy cattle but earn less because of fluctuating milk prices.  

//Cue in: “Turi abariisa abakurisa…       

Cue out: …Oshanga otakutungamu”.//   

However, Wilson Kasana says all would be well if government intervened and gave them money, sensitised them on the quality of Milk required and regulated milk prices and other commodities.

//Cue In: “Nokututekamu sente nitwe…     

  

Cue out: …gavumenti ekitekemu omukono,”// 

   

Apparently, milk processors and brokers pay between Shillings 400 and Shillings 500 per liter of milk. 

Seth Deva, the Director of Pearl Dairies, says is unfortunate for the minister to single out Pearl Diaries, saying there is no law or regulation that stops processors to have milk centers and being close to farmers.    

//Cue in: “There is no….       

Cue out: …on transport cost    

 

According to Seth, milk prices are determined based on the quality supplied.

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