Development of Dairies in Khartoum State

By: Aisha Braima

KHARTOUM (SUDAN)—The Sudan, with its geographically strategic position, possesses an enormous animal wealth counting around 140 million head of cattle, sheep, goats and camels in the lead of both Arab and African region and occupying the world’s sixth rank. But in spite of this, the Sudan is incapable of meeting its demand of this important animal-based food.
There are many difficulties facing the milk producing sector, making 50% of the milk produced by the pastoral and semi-pastoral sectors out of the economic cycle and cutting the annual per capita milk consumption down to 80 liters compared to 250 liters as set by the World Health Organization.
The dairies chamber has recently called for reactivation of existing legislations and enactment of new ones for this sector to fill in the gaps and cope with demands of the global market. It put in place a strategy for addressing the economics of this sector by decreasing the costs and increasing the productivity.
With regards to milk-yielding, cows are the most economic animals, followed by ewes, then goats and she-camels. The cattle number to 38.3% of the Sudan’s livestock population with an annual 5.6% rate of growth, representing 70% of the cattle population of the Arab countries. The traditional milk production constitutes 90% of the total production out of which 10% is contributed by the hybrid cattle. The artificial fertilization, improved breeding and provision of soft loans to the breeders contributed to an increased production.
Milk is produced in three methods- modern, pastoral and semi-pastoral. The pastoral is far from the markets and the semi-pastoral is around the irrigated schemes while the modern system is around the markets with the latter offering not more than 0.5 million tons out of a total 7 million tons the greater portion of which is produced by the pastoral and semi-pastoral sectors of which 50% is not counted as part of the economic cycle. Among the obstacles is the low productivity as 50 million head are not specialized in producing milk and are away from the markets.
The Sudan imports 120 million dollar worth of powdered milk and produces an annual 7 million tons while the Khartoum factories operate in 30% of their design capacity and the annual per capita consumption is around 80 liters.

The cattle barns are mostly built from unsuitable materials of building remains, iron, jute and straw mats, making an environment that is unsuitable for animal breeding. Furthermore, most of the breeding areas do not have adequate sheds while the available barns are over-crowded and the floor is in most cases wetted with running water or rain as the floor is lower than its surrounding area, something which causes inflammations and other diseases.
Khartoum State whose population, according to the latest count, is around 5.5 million is considered the largest market for milk and milk derivatives but most of this commodity comes from farms which still operate in traditional methods.
In the framework of its efforts for boosting the milk sector, the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Khartoum State organized a workshop on problems of milk production in Corinthia Hotel here this week under the auspices of Khartoum State Governor Abdul Rahman al-Khidir with the participation veterinarians and milk producers. The workshop was aimed at finding a scientific plan for development of the milk production sector as it is an ingredient of food security.
Governor Khidir underlined that the government plans to make the State home for production of milk as one of its priorities and seeks to achieve this within its five-axis strategy of the government disengagement from production, offering the private sector 70% of the investment for attaining food security and provision of job opportunities, increasing imports and contribution to infrastructures and upgrading the services. He declared the end of the era of demanding trade unions as the production has become an issue of free competition among the producers.
The Governor said there are about 144,000 milk-producing cows in the State which presently yield an annual 527,000 tons, expecting this would increase to 10,120 tons by 2016. He noted that the process of developing the milk sector is a joint responsibility of the government and the producers and the roles of each side must be pinpointed so that a vision can be reached for doubling the production of milk and making it available to everyone.
The Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Khartoum State, Mudathir Abdul Ghani, said the workshop was aimed at formulating a scientific vision for achievement of self-sufficiency and putting an end to importation of milk in implementation of the state’s strategy.
He made reference to efforts being exerted by his Ministry for upgrading the milk industry by establishing seven milk producing compounds and a number of modern milking posts in addition to conducting a field survey to make sure that the State is free of animal diseases.


Abdul Ghani said his Ministry plans to produce 650,000 tons by 2016. The challenges facing the milk productivity include production of fodders within the State and making use of the experiences of others, said the Minister, commending the private sector for introducing modern technologies.
The Chairman of the Agriculture and Animal Production Chamber of the Sudanese Businessmen Association, Hashim Mohamed Ali, has called for an accelerated establishment of a television channel for agricultural extension for Khartoum State and a development fund in addition to supporting participation by the farmers of Khartoum State in foreign exhibitions for acquiring experience from others. He indicated positive gains scored after formation of the specialized commercial chambers and their role in discussing and finding solutions to relevant problems.
The Under-Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Animal Resources, Ahmed Mahmoud al-Sheikh, regretted importation by the Sudan of dried milk, despite the fact that the country possesses 140 million head of all kinds of livestock.
He said his federal Ministry has drawn up programmes for replenishing the shortages in agricultural and animal production topped by a milk collection programme in the rural regions. Sheikh said this programme was supposed to have been implemented this year but has not materialized due to failure of financing by the Ministry of Finance.
Sheikh said Khartoum is the Sudan’s leading state in milk production, wishing it would be able to set an example in development of the milk industry, particularly as the State possesses a fine breed of milk-producing cows. He urged the milk producers- both individuals and companies- to benefit from the Safari institute the Ministry has established for training of the milk producers, indicating that his federal Ministry has also established a milk laboratory.
The Director-General of Khartoum State’s Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Mohamed al-Zain Babikir, made reference to the Ministry’s accomplishments in the agricultural sector and infrastructure projects, roads and irrigation canals. This, according to Babikir, contributed to increasing of fodder production to a 6.500 million tons in addition to making 35 model hafirs, six dikes, three extension centers, three veterinary centers and 15 milk production units.
Dr. Abu Hurairah Hassan, reviewing the Khartoum State’s self-sufficiency in milk, said surveys and studies conducted on a sample of barns showed that 80% to 90% did not have ample shades, water and feeding equipment. He said this would cut down the milk production by 20% to 25% as a result of the summer heat compared to winter.

The study attributed the decline in the productivity to the unscientific feeding, lack of veterinary services and absence of new production technologies such as the mechanical milking and cooling in addition to the low educational and technological standards of the producers.


The study indicated that the production must be made in an integrated form by modernizing the barns to avoid miscarriages caused by the heat, improvement of the feeding process, the animal health and introduction of breeds of high productivity, employment of mechanical milking and cooling techniques so as to deliver high quality and low-cost milk to the consumer. The study pointed out that those processes would bring about remunerative economic proceeds and would raise the productivity of the herd by 50% to 60% over the three year-strategy.
The study underlined the need for providing the milk producers adequate plots of land so that they can plant fodder and set up barns in the required method.
As regards the legislations necessary for controlling and upgrading the sector, the study called for enactment of legislations to fill in the gaps and cope with the demands and requirements of the global markets by raising the competitiveness of the Sudanese production of milk and its derivatives. It also stressed the importance of coordination among the controlling systems for avoidance of conflicting powers and for unification of the quality control.
Dr. Dhia al-Dinn Hassan Khairallah underscored the importance of nutrition of the animals in upgrading the milk production, pointing out that the feeding represents 73.1% to 75.4% of the cost of production. The green fodder represents 25.3% to 35.4% and the concentrated fodder represents 37.2% to 50.1% of the animal feeding. This, according to Khairallah, requires application of scientific and balanced feeding methods without ignoring the economic aspect. He said a decline in nutrition leads to a decline in the productive qualities such as the weight loss, low fertility and birth rates, high death rates, high cost of production and low earnings.
Khairallah said the numbers of the settled animals in Khartoum States this year are estimated at 897,678 units with an annual increase of 0.8%. Out of those, the economically viable animals are 278,000 head of cattle, 741,000 head of goats, 540,000 head of sheep and 6,800 head of camels, in addition to fodder-fed animals such and hoses and donkeys. The annual green fodder totals 6.91 million tons whereas this year is was about 5.3 million tons, i.e., a deficit of 1.61 million tons.
The workshop recommended a number of measures that included efforts for improvement and development of the natural pastures and rain-fed fodder, encouragement of investment in fodder industry, benefitting from remains of the harvest, checking encroachment into the pastures, intensification of the extension services, conducting studies and research on the pastures, application of the fodder quality standards and introduction of modern technologies. The workshop also recommended reactivation of legislations on utilization and protection of the pastures and fodder resources in addition to improvement of the barns, feeding and watering methods of the cattle and upgrading the methods of breeding and administration of the herd and the methods of milking and milk handling. It called for speeding up implementation of the proposed projects in contribution to development of the milk sector, including the mechanical milking, milk preservation, improved veterinary services, production of high quality calves, reactivation of the research role in development of the milk sector, collection of milk, improvement of barns, improvement of the breeds of the milk-producing animals, importation of cows that yield plentiful milk in addition improvement of pastures and introduction of small units of milk pasteurization.

Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...


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