The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF) has set an annual target of 90 million litres for the year, an increase that can be realised through collaboration among players in the dairy sector.
Last year ZADF revealed that the national dairy herd stood at 40 000, half of which are milking cows producing an average of 13 litres of milk each per day which translated to 6,4 million litres per month.
In an interview, ZADF chairperson Mr Ernest Irimayi Muzorewa said this year’s annual projection stood close to 90 million litres.
“The 2022 annual projection stands at 88 779 520 litres of milk. This growth could be realised provided that a viable producer price is availed, affordable finance is available for procurement of efficient equipment, infrastructure and irrigation development and the stock feed price is affordable among others,” said Mr Muzorewa.
He said other key requisites were stock feed raw materials for on-farm feed formulation, being available and at an affordable price, the Command Silage Scheme expedited and its terms being affordable and economic stability.
Zimbabwe, at its peak production in the early 90s, had 42 000 milking herd producing 260 million litres of milk, which was enough to satiate local demand.
The situation, however, took a downward turn with the herd plunging to a record low of 22 000 animals – producing 36 million litres in 2009, which saw the country turning to imports, as well as use of powdered milk to bridge the gap.
Since then there have been concerted efforts by various stakeholders to bring back the sector’s glory of the bygone days culminating in the adoption of several programmes, polices and mechanisms to support and protect production and marketing of milk.
Such efforts have of late resulted in the introduction of various recovery strategies such as Government’s Livestock Development Implementation Strategy, the European Union funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP) and the Transforming Zimbabwe’s Dairy Value Chain for the Future (TranZDVC) project that are being implemented to address the root cause of under-performance in the country’s dairy value chain (DVC) through strengthening the linkages between production, processing and financing.