HomeNewsNestlé embarks on dairy revival scheme

Nestlé embarks on dairy revival scheme

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NESTLÉ Zimbabwe Limited plans to source 500 heifers in the second half of the year as part of its dairy revival scheme.

Victoria Mtomba

The company launched the $14 million dairy scheme in 2011 as an ongoing programme for the next seven years. The programme is expected to source 2 000 dairy cows and so far 600 cows have been disbursed under the scheme.

“Since the launch of the dairy scheme close to $1,5 million has been spent on dairy cows, heifers, cropping and purchase of equipment. We plan to source 500 heifers during the second half of 2013 for further distribution to our contracted farmers and new entrants,” the company’s chief executive officer Kumbirayi Katsande said.

Under the project, farmers receive dairy cows from Nestlé and also provided technical support from  the company.

The company, Katsande said, had finalised training programmes with two agricultural institutions to assist with the revival process.

Katsande said during the second quarter of the year the company would be launching new products and complete its Milo processing plant, new administration and laboratory buildings.

Turning to the first quarter performance, Katsande output rose during the period under review.

“Output in the first quarter of 2013 was 10% up on the milk category and 20% for the cereals, coffee and beverage categories. Growth of our leading brand — Cerevita — is due to improved supply situation in meeting consumer demand and the increased cereals production capacity installations carried out in 2012,”he said.

Katsande said the country faced difficulties in the period under review due to liquidity shortages that affected customers and the continued devaluation of the rand that resulted in imports being cheaper than locally produced goods.

“For local companies including Nestlé Zimbabwe to remain competitive against imports, there should be  a continuous effort to reduce the cost of production through elimination of waste and at the same time improve on quality and innovation, ”he said.

He added that the company had water problems that saw it sighting a new borehole and installing an underground water tank with a capacity of 700 cubic meters.

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