DAIRIBOARD Holdings Limited (DHL) has called on government and private sector to revive the dairy industry amid indications the country’s national herd has depleted significantly.
Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting last week, DHL chief executive officer Anthony Mandiwanza said: “The natural head has depleted significantly, we used to have 197 000 dairy cows at different stages and today we have less than 26 000 dairy cows”.
He said there was need for both public and private players to come together and close the gap.
“The national milk production requirement is at 8 million litres per month and currently, Zimbabwe is producing 4 million litres per month from all milk processors and this leaves a gap of 4 million litres,” Mandiwanza said.
For the nation to grow its milk supply, Mandiwanza said government should ensure the availability of financial resources.
Mandiwanza said the milk supply development programme was built to increase supply base and was expected to contribute 10% of milk supply in the current year.
He said it was important the group mitigated the costs of producing milk as the high prices were eroding its competitive advantage.
DHL is currently forking out 62c per litre compared to the below 40c price paid by South Africa producers.
“We have to concentrate on pushing the volumes so as to wash away the unit costs.”
Mandiwanza added that the group also facilitated producers to access stockfeed under an arrangement.
The group recorded a marginal revenue increase of $24,3 million for the first three months of the year ending March 31 up from $24,2 million in 2012.
The group volumes declined to 16 046 million litres of milk for the three months to March from 16 250 million litres in 2012.
In the period under review, raw milk intake increased to 6,6 million litres for the first quarter compared to 6,58 million litres during the same period