(Business in Cameroon) - Over the period from 2011 to 2016, milk production grew by nearly 70,000 tons, from 109,000 tons to 172,000 tons, Dr. Taïga the minister of livestock, fisheries and animal industries (Minepia) said in an interview with Défis actuels.
Despite this increase, which is the result of government programs to promote livestock and milk production, the production is still short of just over 120,000 tons, since the annual domestic demand stood at about 297,000 tons, sources revealed.
Experts said the deficit is due, among others, to the poor producing cow species used by breeders, the lack of modern production facilities, the isolation of main production areas, etc.
In need to reduce the gap, economic operators spent CFA31 billion in milk import in 2015, sources said. Moreover, in order to avoid the high costs of imports that are driving up production costs, some local producers are exploring new solutions. For instance, Camlait disbursed CFA3 billion to set a soy-based yoghurt production unit. CEO Paulin Toukam Zuko said the production costs of this sort of yogurt are 50% lower than those made from milk. As a result, the Cameroonian agri-business now intends to generate 65% of turnover in the mid-term thanks to locally produced soy-based yogurt.
Brice R. Mbodiam