ZIMBABWE’S raw milk production is projected to grow by an average of 12% in 2018, buoyed by government’s dairy revitalisation programme which aims at increasing the national herd, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF) chairperson, Kudzai Chirima, told NewsDay in an interview that they expected milk production to reach 70 million litres in 2018.
“We can see the increase from January. For instance, in January 2017 we were on 5,5 million litres of milk and in the same period this year we were on 6,1 million, which is a 10% increase. In February, we increased by 5%. In March, we had a break-even. In April, we increased by 15% and in May we increased by 16%,” Chirima said.
“We are projecting that June figures once tallied, should have averaged about 12%. From the way things are looking, it looks like we are going to have a general increase of an average of about 12% by year-end,” he said.
The country has been averaging between 45 million and 60 million litres of milk per year over the last three years, against a national demand of 120 million litres of milk per annum.
Government is targeting milk production to rise to between 97 million to 100 million litres per annum by 2019.
Chirima said milk production at the farms was improving as famers were being supported by their processors.
He, however, lamented that farmers were still facing a plethora of challenges, chief among them expensive stockfeed, high cost of electricity as well as shortage of forex to purchase drugs.
Chirima pleaded with stookfeed producers to reduce the price of stockfeed as it was making the dairy industry unviable.
Presenting his 2018 National Budget last week, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said government would this year focus on the dairy revitalisation programme.
The programme, he said, would restore the dairy industry that has almost collapsed without direct government support.