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Food safety, only 5% of milk produced in the country is tested

2024-04-25 07:11:00, Ekonomi CNA
Food safety, only 5% of milk produced in the country is tested
Illustrative photo

Only 5% of livestock farmers carry out laboratory tests for milk quality, says an FAO study published these days. The findings have shown that Albania has the lowest level of milk quality control in the region.

In Albania, only 5.5% (200) of surveyed farmers claimed to have used milk testing services during 2020, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 16.7%. Data for Serbia and Montenegro for 2021 show that 19.9% ??of Serbian farmers and 42.1% of Montenegrin farmers tested milk in 2021.

The study shows that the quality of the milk is affected because the farmers mix the morning and afternoon milkings and this is harmful especially when the milk is not stored properly.

More than 40% of dairy farms in Serbia and Montenegro mix morning and afternoon milk, while 25% of farmers in Bosnia and Albania do so.

In almost the entire region, most of the fines are milled by hand. This method provides limited hygienic conditions and compromises milk safety standards.

Also, the presence of water in the milking area is an important element to ensure minimum hygienic conditions, but 75% of smallholder farmers claim that they do not always have drinking water in the milking areas.

Smallholder farms generally do not implement farm management practices, such as having an animal registry, animal identification and registration, record keeping, costs and revenues, and do not use advisory services.

If these practices are implemented, dairy farms are likely to increase their performance enough to purchase electric milking machines.

Some farmers said that the lack of access to electricity in the stables makes it impossible to use milking machines. Others said they couldn't afford one.

Albanian smallholder farmers mainly focus on milk production, while their counterparts in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina tend towards meat production.

The sheep and goat sector faces several challenges, including labor shortages, low prices and insufficient investment funds.

In terms of policy preferences, sheep and goat farmers value direct support measures, such as head payments for milking small ruminants./ Monitor Magazine 

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