ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed manufacturing concern Dairibord Holdings has raised concerns over the influx of cheap dairy products mainly from South Africa, saying the development would hurt local companies, company officials have said.
Currently, a litre of milk costs 62 cents locally compared to an average 40 cents in South Africa. This has resulted in local companies struggling to compete with imported milk products.
Speaking at the Imara Investment Conference in Harare, group chief executive officer Anthony Mandiwanza said it is unfair that products from Zimbabwe’s major trading partner are imported into the country yet local dairy firms are barred from exporting to the regional powerhouse.
“Our biggest upset and annoyance is that we cannot export to South Africa, but they can export to Zimbabwe,” said Mandiwanza.
Also speaking at the same conference, Dairibord Holdings group finance director Mercy Ndoro said the company was facing intense competition from imports mainly as a result of the weakening rand.
Ndoro said although local companies cannot meet raw milk demand due to a dwindling national herd, there is need to ensure that the players become more competitive.
Last year Dairibord rolled out a heifer importation programme which seeks to boost milk output.
Statistics show that raw milk production in Zimbabwe is averaging 4,5 million litres per month against an estimated demand of 8 million litres per month. The group recorded a marginal revenue increase of $24 295 million for the first three months of the year ending March 31 up from $24 226 million in 2012 the same period.
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 in 2012.