Civil Society Organisations Scaling Up Nutrition (CSO-SUN) has emphasised the need for private sector players to make milk products more available and cheaper in Zambia as 35 percent of children suffer from malnutrition.

The CSO-SUN made this known while marking the World Milk Day with the theme: ‘Enjoyment’. The group stressed that the nutrition value of consuming milk and dairy products was important to the health of Zambians.

The Country Coordinator of CSO-SUN, Matthews Mhuru, said, ‘We are still concerned because 35 percent of children in Zambia suffer from malnutrition and last year 2.3 million people were food insecure in Zambia and ended up eating poisonous roots in some parts of the country. We hope this changes’.

He stated that the Northern Province had consecutively recorded high cases of malnutrition compared to other provinces, calling on the government to enhance milk production in the northern region.

Mhuru also noted that the CSO-SUN was worried about the escalation of various dangerous beverages on the Zambian market and that the government needed to create a deliberate policy to ensure milk was made a common drink.

Speaking on the issue, the Head of Research and Planning for the National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC), Freddie Mubanga, that there was a need to make milk a priority food as it was the foundation of life in any living organism. He bemoaned the low consumption of dairy products, which he said might be due to economic constraints.

Mubanga also noted that ladies, especially those nearing menopause, needed milk to prevent fractures and certain complications related to low intake of calcium. ‘We at the NFNC under the 1,000 most critical day programme are promoting the keeping of livestock like goats and cattle for milk production so that nutrition and daily income can be improved’, he added.

A representative from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Andela Kangwa, noted that the ministry was also concerned that despite Zambia producing 617 million litres of milk per year, there was low consumption especially in the northern region where the ministry was empowering farmers with livestock.

Source: The Mast Online

Photo source: Kjokkenutstyr Net

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