The SNV Uganda school milk the programme reaches 210 primary schools with over 70,000 children now drinking milk while at school.
In April 2016, SNV Uganda through the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) funded Inclusive Dairy Enterprise Project (TIDE) established a sustainable and innovative school milk programme within the six program target districts in southwestern Uganda, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Ntungamo and Sheema. The driving aim behind the School Milk Program, was to;
- Alleviate malnutrition and temporary hunger among school children and subsequently increase school enrolment and class attendance
- Develop the dairy sector by increasing milk sales in the short term and milk demand and market in the long term.
The school milk programme target was initially designed to reach 5,000 primary school going children within the 6 target districts. The programme which started as an invention of the TIDE project was later modified and became a national country pilot, targeting all schools in the six target districts and overseen by SNV in partnership with Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Health, Diary Development Authority (DDA) and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries.
Commencing with a pilot phase of 60 primary schools, the programme has successfully been rolled out to 210 primary schools in the 6 districts reaching over 70,000 children. The School milk programme is anchored on public private sector engagement to promote milk consumption as part of the daily school meals. Parents are sensitised about the benefits of the school milk programme and encouraged to contribute money towards the purchase of milk for their children to take during break time. It is the parents’ sole responsibility to mobilize funds to buy milk and other consumables like firewood to boil the milk. SNV through the TIDE programme supports participating schools with 50% matching grant towards purchase of water purification systems to ensure learners drink safe clean water, Energy saving stoves to reduce on the cost of fuel, construction of kitchens and deworming plus Vitamin A supplementation through supporting districts during child health days.
“Parents have embraced the school milk programme because they are assured of their children having something to eat while in school. Pupil attendance has increased and a number of neighbouring schools have expressed interest in bringing their children to our school after hearing about our school milk programme,” Muhozi Robert, Head Teacher Bujaga Integrated Primary School Mbarara District. SNV plans to scale the school milk programme to 500 primary schools reaching 200,000 school going children.
The price and quality of milk supplied to schools emerged as a critical issue and Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union (UCCCU) was assigned the role of identifying farmer cooperatives that can supply good quality milk at the market price. A total of 21 dairy cooperatives have been linked to schools and signed supply agreements with the schools. On average a total of 4,140 litres of milk is purchased daily by the 210 participating schools. With milk prices averaging at 1,000 per litre, this translate to 4.1 million daily income to the farmers.
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