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Nestlé to revive dairy production


Nestlé Zimbabwe plans to invest $14 million in the next seven years to revive the local dairy production.

Nestlé chief executive officer Kumbirayi Katsande yesterday said the company had bought 200 dairy cows from South Africa.

Speaking at the launch of the Nestlé commercial dairy revival Katsande said the company had disbursed 100 cows to four contracted dairy farmers.

Under the revived project 2 000 cows would be purchased and distributed to contracted farmers nationally.

“We intend to grow the current milk output by our contracted farmers from 3,5 million litres to about 25 million litres per year in the seven-year period,” said Katsande.

“In addition to the commercial dairy development programme, Nestlé will soon launch an ambitious nationwide dairy scheme targeted at small-scale farmers. This programme will establish milk production and collection centres throughout all provinces in the country.”

Katsande said national milk production stood at 50 million litres per year from the 40 000 dairy cows available. At the height of Zimbabwe’s economic performance just before the turn of the millennium, the country produced 260 million litres of milk per year.

Early this year Nestlé — whose headquarters is in Switzerland — was threatened with seizure by President Robert Mugabe for refusing to buy milk from his Gushungo Farm.

“Nestlé refused to buy milk from Gushungo dairies,” said President Mugabe then. “I told (Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour) Kasukuwere to begin with them and tell them he was sent by Gushungo. We should deal with them. Let them get out of the country.”

In October this year, the veteran leader made another threat to Swiss companies for denying his top aides visas to attend a United Nations meeting in that country.

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