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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Ethiopia’s Paradox: Leading in Animal Resources, Lagging in Milk Consumption

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Despite Ethiopia’s status as the leading nation in Africa for animal resources, its milk production and consumption rates remain notably low. This paradox was a key topic at the Milk Day celebration held on June 17, 2016, in Addis Ababa. The event featured a panel discussion at the International Animal Research Center, where experts and associations highlighted the importance of milk and strategies for increasing its productivity.

Ethiopia’s cultural perception of milk is a significant factor in its low consumption rates. Many Ethiopians consider milk primarily a children’s drink, a misconception that needs to be addressed. Daniel Temeseng, President of the Ethiopian Animal Husbandry Association, emphasized that milk is essential for everyone, advocating for increased productivity and consumption across all age groups.

Strategies to boost milk production include the use of selected breeds, hybridization, and the importation of cows. Currently, the focus on raising animals is predominantly for acquiring farm bulls, which results in milk production being largely overlooked. Temeseng called for special attention to be given to the milk sector to harness its full potential.

Milk Day, celebrated globally on June 1, serves as a reminder of the nutritional value of milk and the need for its increased consumption. The celebration in Addis Ababa underscored the necessity for Ethiopia to leverage its vast animal resources to improve milk production and integrate milk more broadly into the Ethiopian diet.

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