Zimbabwe milk production rises

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dairy farmers Dairy

Milk production in Zimbabwe has improved, but farmers still want government support
Milk production in Zimbabwe has improved, but farmers still want government support
Milk production has increased by 11% this year as more farmers join the dairy production industry, a Zimbabwe government official has said.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Ministry's chief dairy officer Tendai Marecha said milk production has risen from 3.6m liters a month to 4.6m.

"Milk production has surged by 11%, since more farmers can now afford restocking. We now have more milk producers compared to those we had in 2008,"​ she said.

Marecha was addressing the National Dairy Farmers of Zimbabwe annual general meeting held in Harare.

High production costs caused problems

Milk production had plummeted to one million liters per month over the past decade, the government said on the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) website, because of high production costs and shortage of spare parts.

Marecha also attributed the high milk output to training of dairy farmers by stakeholders in the sector. She said that the position was, however, improving.

"New farmers are improving their operations and we will continue to offer them necessary training. Dairy farmers are also gaining confidence,” ​she added.

Farmers appeal for support

In light of the increased production announced at the meeting, dairy farmers have appealed to the Government to support the sector.

"Government should avail funding to us like they do to crops like maize. We cannot access loans from banks,"​ Laiza Moyo from Umuzingwane district told the MOA.

Gweru farmer, Bernadette Wabata, added that the government needs to ensure continuous supply of electricity.

"If we use generators with diesel averaging $0.40 per liter, we cannot recoup production costs,"​ she said.

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