Minister for Primary Education applauds SNV for its School Milk initiative


https://snv.org/project/inclusive-dairy-enterprise-tideUganda’s Minister of State for Primary Education Rosemary Seninde has commended SNV in Uganda for its school milk initiative that has led to over 300,000 students enjoying milk while in school.

“We all know that feeding of children in school is the responsibility of the parents. While government has a role in education, educating our children is a collective responsibility and the parents’ part is to provide food for their children. I am glad that parents are taking this up, as demonstrated by the SNV school milk programme that is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Sports and the district leadership. The spirit I have witnessed here today between the local leaders in driving this parent-led school feeding programme has really impressed me and should be adopted across the country,” said Hon. Rosemary Seninde during her maiden visit to Mbarara district and St. Aloysius primary school, one of the schools implementing the SNV School Milk Programme.

In 2016, SNV signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Health and the Dairy Development Authority in Uganda to use its School Milk Programme as a national pilot for parent-led school feeding. The programme is an initiative of the SNV The Inclusive Diary Enterprise Project (TIDE) project funded by the Embassy of The Netherlands to Uganda.

The programme places parents as key actors in feeding their children. They are educated on the importance of feeding their children while in school (only 36% of day schools in Uganda provide at least one meal a day, source: Uganda National Planning Authority report of 2017). Parents contribute a set amount per term (ranging from UGX 10,000 – 15,000) (€2,50 to €3) towards the purchase of milk. From an initial target of 5,000 children, the School Milk Programme has now been adopted by 942 schools with over 300,000 school children receiving milk mixed with porridge at their school.

The TIDE project links schools to dairy farmer cooperatives. The project facilitates the signing of contracts for the direct supply of milk to the schools at a flat rate of UGX 1,000 per litre of milk (25 eurocents). The system has dual benefits: first it ensures stability and affordability of milk during the dry months when milk prices go up due to low productivity. Second, the school milk programme has created a new market for dairy farmers with over 27,000 litres of milk supplied daily. At an average of UGX 1,000 shilling per litre, farmers earn UGX 2.4 billion (€585,000) per trimester and UGX 7.2 billion (€1.7 million) annually.

The minister urged stakeholders present to think about the sustainability of the school feeding programme to ensure that such initiatives continue even after the programmes have ended. She also advised the districts and school management to discourage schools from buying milk outside the cooperatives which milk is often not subjected to tests and can be harmful to children.

About the TIDE project

Since its launch in 2015, the TIDE project has contributed to remarkable growth and transformation of Uganda’s dairy sector.

  • Farmers have invested significantly, co-investing €6 million on their farms to improve production and productivity.

  • Export value of dairy products has increased from €4.5 million in 2015 to €90 million currently

  • Processing capacity has increased from 100,000 litres per day to 1.5 million litres per day.

  • School milk consumption was introduced with 300,000 pupils now drinking milk at school paid for by their parents.