Bilatu Agza, Kassahun Melesse, Asnaku Funga and Kassech Melesse
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Ada’a and Lume districts of East Showa zone, Oromia National Regional State of Ethiopia to assess knowledge gap and factors influencing consumption of dairy products. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select 94 households and administer a pre-tested and structured questionnaire. Raw milk, pasteurized milk, fermented milk, skim milk, cottage type cheese and butter were the six most regularly consumed dairy products. Raw milk and skim milk were consumed in higher volume with nearly 18 liters each per month per household and purchasing these products at least 4 times per week. The major sources of milk and milk products for the consumer in the districts were farm gates (32.2%), open markets (24.4), milk shops (18.9%), kiosks (17.8%) and supermarkets (6.7%). Nearly 68 % of the household indicated that they had increased their consumption in the last five years, and 60 % of those households were in Ada’a district, representing 75 % of the Ada’a sample. Price, appearance, hygiene of premises and utensils, adulteration and labeling were the most important parameters that received much of consumers’ attention when they purchase dairy products in a market. Though about 51 % of the household had access for standardized dairy products, only one-third of them had experienced in purchasing one or more of these product types. Almost all interviewed household agreed that milk must be produced in hygienic manner and nearly one-third and one-fourth of the respondents’ believed that milk and milk products can have microbial and chemical hazards, respectively. Interestingly, use of hot water to wash milk equipments was a common activity for 88 % of the household. More than 90 % of the interviewed household had willingness to pay for extra cost for improved quality and safety of dairy products. According to the respondents, a post harvest loss at consumption or consumer level was low. Though knowledge of consumers in the study area cannot be underestimated, awareness on dairy product handling, public health hazards of raw milk and contaminated post-pasteurized, necessary labeling information on packed products, and quality standards of dairy products need to be enhanced.
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