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Milk & Dairy Products in 2024: Africa's top business ideas and opportunities

Africa now has the world's youngest and fastest-growing population which strongly favours higher milk and dairy consumption. This guide explores the most lucrative opportunities in Africa's milk market.

Africa has 24% of the world's total cattle but produces only about 7% of the milk output.

With over 800 million tonnes of milk produced around the world each year, humans now consume twice as much milk as they did just 50 years ago.

Milk and dairy products are now one of the fastest-growing consumer food categories in the world.

In addition to milk's high-quality protein content, it is also a rich source of essential nutrients that are important for the growth and development of children and young adults, particularly calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.

Milk also enjoys strong industrial demand due to its versatile uses as a base and ingredient for a wide range of food and beverage products.

The annual global demand for milk and dairy food products reached $722 billion in 2021 and is projected to exceed $1 trillion by the end of the decade, at a compound annual growth rate of 7%.

This guide explores the most lucrative opportunities that lie within the value chain for milk and dairy products in Africa. We shall also share some inspiring stories of successful businesses in Africa's growing dairy market.

The average African consumes less than 40 litres of milk per year. This consumption is significantly below the worldwide average of 108 litres, and the 140 to 210 litres per capita recommended by the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization.

This significant consumption gap provides a strong incentive for milk production in Africa.

Current global consumption patterns show the Asia Pacific has the largest global dairy food market share, accounting for 42% of the world market, while Africa has the world's lowest milk production, representing less than 5% of the global total.

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