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December 17, 2008

Mali invests for milk self-sufficiency

Mali is putting in place plans to produce milk locally to ensure self sufficiency in the product, according to official sources.

The project, estimated to cost 15 billion CFA francs (about US$ 30 million), was also aimed at contributing to poverty reduction. It will involve the establishment of 41 'milk basins' in the country with each supplying enough product to its area of coverage.

The government will also set up eight milk transformation units with capacities ranging from 2,000 litres and 10,000 litres of milk per day.

Mali is one the greatest livestock-farming countries in the West African sub-region. Its livestock profile is estimated at 8.1 million bovines, 23.4 million sma l l ruminants and 800,000 camels.

Livestock farming constitutes the third largest earner of foreign exchange for the country after gold and cotton.

The government said "With this potential, the national production, estimated at 500 million litres per year, is far from meeting national demands," adding that i t spends between 10 million and 15 billion CFA each year to import milk.

The new project will enable Mali promote its local milk production and develop a national milk industry in order to improve the level of milk consumption for it s people, improve revenue earning for the producers and reduce importation.

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