Milk production surges

dairy_farmBULAWAYO - National milk output has increased by 10 percent from last year to 3,5 million litres of milk per month this year, an official has said.

In an interview, National Association of Dairy Farmers of Zimbabwe chairman, Ajs Kirk, attributed the increase to the market liberalisation of the economy.

“Compared to last year, milk production by dairy farmers has increased by 10 percent with 3,5 million litres of milk being produced per month. The increase is due to the market liberalisation of the economy,” he said.

However, he said although milk production had increased, the levels were still low compared to a decade ago.

“Milk production levels in the country are very low despite this increase. If we are to compare, what is being produced right now is 12 percent of what was produced in 2000. And before 2000, dairy farmers were producing 21 million litres of milk per month,” he said.

Kirk said milk production for the past two months had been stagnant due to increased load shedding by Zesa.

Since last year, local milk producers have been facing stiff competition from importers who are landing dairy products at lower prices compared to domestic producers.

Producers in the country have said they were incurring high production costs while in the years prior to the introduction of the multi-currency system, the farmers were affected by the shortage of raw materials and price controls.

It was not possible to ascertain how much of the milk was produced by the state-of-the-art dairy farm near Harare stolen from a commercial farmer by President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace during the land reform programme.

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