Milk drinking competition used to fight stunting

24Aug 2019
Beatrice Philemon
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Milk drinking competition used to fight stunting

Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB) in collaboration with dairy industry stakeholders have organised regional milk-drinking day in schools to encourage students to consume more in a bid to reduce stunted in Iringa region.

This was revealed yesterday by Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), Acting Registrar, Dr Sophia  Mlote  at the Tanzania Dairy Board Meeting on Dairy policy and Regulatory Framework Rationalisation in Tanzania funded by  the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV).

The event will take place in Iringa region on August  25th this year and the main goal was just to increase milk consumption level, promote its consumption for the national development and help people in Iringa region reduce stunted for their children.

TDB in collaboration with Dairy industry stakeholders have decided to organise this event after discovered that stunted rate in Iringa region is very high and as stakeholders engaged in this sector they have to encourage children and adult to drink milk for their health status.

She said stunted in children is very high in Iringa Region because many people don’t drink milk and eat a highly nutritious crops that has health benefits for them although Iringa  is the main producer of different cash crops.

During the event free milk will be distributed to students in schools by stakeholders and will be educated on the health benefits it has for them and their parents.

During the event, also they will invite officials from Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and Ministry of education to participate in this event to educate students on the importance of drinking milk and the health benefits it has for them.

“Drinking milk help your body function well and keep you refreshed through the day, it contains Vitamin A and B for good eyesight and increasing red blood cell count, magnesium for muscles, carbohydrates for vitality and energy, phosphorus for energy and proteins for body repair and growth,” she noted.

According to her, milk  is one of the biggest sources of calcium, it provides Vitamin D and is also amazing for strong teeth, which helps prevent conditions like tooth decay and cavities.Apart from that milk Helps in muscle growth because of the protein it has, maintains skin health and improves heart health.

She called on the public to consume milk regularly and keep their bodies healthy and energetic.Emphasising on dairy sector, for his part, dairy consultant, Prof Lusato Kurwijila added that Tanzania has huge potential to develop dairy industry but processing just about 3 per cent of more than 2.4 million tonnes of milk produced in Tanzania.

Studies on the sub sector indicates that an unfavourable regulatory environment is partly responsible for the dismal performance.

 “As a result he called on the government to put in place a Business Facilitation Act that will amend various laws and regulations that impede the ease of doing business in the country,”  he noted.Apart from that there is also need to demonetize the regulatory framework to reduce number and cost of fees payable to government agencies except for provision of services that are not regulatory in nature.

Reducing number of regulatory authorities and cost of fees payable to government authorities will reduce operation cost of doing business in dairy industry and help them benefit from what they did.He also recommend the government to make it easy to register business and pay taxes using single window payment systems through the e- government payment system and further implement blue print including sustainable funding mechanisms for regulatory agencies and local governments.

Also in the long term, the food law should provide for International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)/ Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) based registration and certification of enterprises rather than individual or batch registration and certifications of dairy (food) items for the domestic and export market based on regional EAC standard.

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