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Algeria to increase milk powder to counter milk shortages

Milk in Algeria are contained in plastic bags [Twitter]

The Algerian government has decided to increase the quantities of milk powder provided by the Algerian Inter-Professional Milk Board (ONIL) to public and private dairies to help with shortages of bagged milk on the market, according to the prime minister.

“The dairies of the public industrial group producing milk and its derivatives (GIPLAIT) will see their supply of milk powder increase from 7,000 to 10,000 tonnes per month, which will increase their milk production in a bag of more than two million to nearly four million litres a day,” the official said in a statement yesterday.

Dairies in the private sector will also see their supply increase from 7,500 to 9,000 tonnes per month, according to the PM’s statement.

These measures of “market saturation” will be accompanied by “the firm application of the law against all the authors of diversion of milk powder heavily subsidised by the state for the benefit of consumers.”

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The measures adopted follow disruptions recorded for months on the subsidised milk sachet supply market. A meeting was held last month at the headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, in the presence of the Minister of the Sector, Abdelkader Bouazghi, and representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The meeting concluded with an agreement on the introduction of a “new clause” in the agreement binding ONIL to the dairies’ owners, requiring them to submit a document detailing the quantities produced and distributed with the aim of defining the actual circulation of subsidised milk.

This approach aims at “the traceability of milk powder from the stage of supply to the arrival of the finished product at the level of retailers”, ONIL explained.

Some 118 dairies distributed throughout the national territory, including 15 public companies, are under the agreement with ONIL.

The Secretary-General of the National Union of Algerian Peasants (UNPA), Mohamed Alioui, recently called on the Ministry of Commerce to “tighten control” on the process of the distribution of milk sachets in order to fight against the discrepancies recorded in recent months.

A study published in 2017 by the Association of Algerian Beverage Producers revealed that the average consumption of pasteurised bagged milk per capita is 66.1 litres per a year.

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