Zim imports milk products

.dairy_farm.. as Dairibord hits rock-bottom
HARARE - Already facing a serious economic crunch, Zimbabwe will this year import 41 million litres of milk, milk solids and butter oil at a total cost conservatively estimated at $7 million.

This amount is up from the 31 million litres imported in 2010. The country’s major milk producer and supplier, Dairibord, led by Anthony Mandiwanza, has confirmed to The Zimbabwean that the nation’s dairy herd has seriously nose-dived.

It blamed this on “various problems, especially poor farmer training”.

The import exercise is expected to result in Dairibord coughing up $7 million, which it informs investors will “be raised from internal sources and borrowings”.

However, insiders interviewed said the Zanu (PF) governments so-called land reform programme, begun in 2000 was the major reason for the decline in milk production and the dwindling national dairy herd.

“At the moment the nation is producing on average 3,6 million litres of raw milk per month, of which Dairibord is receiving an average of 1,6 million litres or 44 percent,” said Mercy Ndoro, the Group Finance Director, in an exclusive interview.

“To try and cover part of the deficit, we are importing milk solids and butter oil to reconstitute”.

She said Zimbabwe’s milk production had been on the decline for a number of years, “hitting rock bottom” in 2009.

“The peak was in 1990 when 256 million litres of raw milk were produced,” Ndoro said. “In 2006 national milk production was estimated to be 86 million litres and in 2010 this dropped to 47 million litres. Since then has been an upward trend in milk output with an increase of 32 percent per annum in 2010, compared to the previous year.”

One of the blue-chip counters on the stock exchange, Dairibords share price currently stands at $0,22, but this is expected to shoot up to about $0,36 when recapitalisation is completed later this year.

Post published in: Economy

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