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Dairy industry projects 15% growth in milk production

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

ZAIMBABWE’s dairy industry is responding positively to the government’s interventions, with milk output projected to grow by 15 percent this year to over 100 million litres.

Data released at the EASI- Seeds and Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF) pasture field tour in Harare Friday shows that Zimbabwe is on course to reduce the milk supply deficit as output will increase from 90 million litres last year to over 100 million litres this year against annual requirements of 130 million litres.

Dairy Farmers who were part of technical discussions during the field tour are excited about the prospects that lie ahead.

“The dairy industry though facing some challenges is in a position to resurrect or be revived as farmers respond to government interventions so all in all as a sector, we are targeting further growth,” said Mrs Eunah Makoni.

“This industry has all that it takes to be viable provided concerted efforts are being put in place to address some resurfacing macro-economic pressures including policies to mitigate against climate change effects,” said Mr Marlon Gwede.

The Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers is also expecting continued growth in the dairy sector.

“The current situation reflects a commitment by the private sector and the farmers in terms of ensuring increased output that will translate into positive net effects for a sector that had experienced challenges, the current growth trajectory if sustained pinpoints the rebuilding of the dairy herd and capacitating the farmers,” said Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers chairperson, Mr Ernest Muzorewa.

The government has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting dairy farmers.

“There are several interventions that we have introduced mainly oriented towards our livestock growth plan and the dairy sector has not been left behind as all concerted efforts have been intensified as evidenced by incentives to the producers, creating a favourable operating climate and restocking of the dairy herd,” said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr John Basera.

The continued growth of the dairy industry is set to reduce the country’s import bill for dairy-related products.

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