Milk-Valley set to be established in Mutasa district

By ZBC Reporter
SMALL-scale dairy farmers in Mutasa District are set to increase production following the commitment by the government to support their activities by establishing a milk-valley which will grow the industry amid increased demand for milk.
A teacher by profession who turned to farming upon retirement, Naboth Makunike enjoys his newfound job as he gets to reap the benefits of his agricultural enterprise.
Being a multi-award winner in dairy farming, Makunike says the secret behind having highly productive dairy cattle is feeding them right.
“My secret is passion for the cows and feeding them right. Most people do not understand this but that is the basis of having the best dairy herd. Most of my food is grown here,” he said.
Chairman of the Tsonzo Dairy, Washington Sagonda, said the industry requires adequate funding from both government and the private sector to ensure sustained growth.
“When the minister came, he promised us cattle and the cows came and it was a welcome development. The major challenge we are facing is that of production cost which is too high and if there are interventions put in place to lessen the costs then we will be able to produce more,” he said.
However, addressing the dairy farmers in Mutasa during her visit to appreciate their work, Manicaland Minister of State, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba spoke on the need to invest more in the dairy industry to boost productivity.
“Through the establishment of this milk valley it means we want to capacitate farmers who are already in dairy farming because our environment and the temperatures are ideal for milk production so it is imperative that dairy farming is taken seriously,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.
At peak, the nation had a dairy herd of 192 thousand which produced over 150 million litres annually.
Currently, production is at about 75 million litres from a dairy herd that is slightly above 32 000.