Milk supplies to remain depressed


Milk supplies are expected to remain depressed in 2012 due to challenges faced by dairy farmers in the country, it has been learnt.

Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited (DZL) managing director Thompson Mabika said there was scope for growth in the sector, but farmers were coming from a low growth base.

Some of the challenges include shortage of good quality breeding animals, obsolete milking equipment and power outages.

Last week DZL said it would soon install a standby generator worth $800 000 at its Harare factory to mitigate effects of intermittent power cuts.

“In 2012 raw milk supplies will grow at a slower pace and we are expecting around 10% growth,” said Mabika.

The company is producing 1,6 million litres of milk per month through raw milk provided by small and large scale farmers.

The country’s monthly milk demand is five million litres which is being complemented by imports from South Africa and Zambia.

He said the government should support farmers with inputs and consider removing import duty on dairy cows as a way of trying to boost milk production.
Mabika said the company was supplementing raw milk production with liquid milk and also milk coming from Dairibord Malawi.

“We need duty free or low tariffs on equipment to enhance our capacity and be competitive in the region,” Mabika said.

“The Malawi market is tough at the moment as the sales are low. We are getting at least 100 000 litres per month of Chimombe from there.”

Mabika said although the subsidiary was not performing well the company would not exit that market, but would instead re-equip its operations as it had gone for sometime without investment in equipment.

The company produces Lacto, Super Milk, Chimombe, Sterilised Milk, Pasteurised Milk and Fresh Milk. The company is producing 200 000 tonnes of cheese due to the shortages of milk in the market.