Zimbabwe’s dairy sector recorded improved performance on the back of increased milk output in the last quarter of 2018, up 18% with respect to the same period in 2017 to 21 million litres, while production for the whole year increased by 13.6%.
According to statistics provided by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), this growth was mainly driven by a raft of measures introduced by the government and private players, as well as the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers’ (ZADF) Strategic Plan for 2018 to 2022, which aims to raise production levels to 130 million litres per annum by 2022.
As Zimbabwe is unable to meet its local milk demand (about 70 million litres against a national demand of 120 million litres), the country is spending more than US $7 million per month to import powdered milk and butter, mainly from South Africa.
The biggest impediments to the full recovery of the country’s dairy industry include high production costs such as electricity, labour, stock feeds and agro inputs, problems that the government is attempting to mitigate with the launch of the National Command Dairy Programme aimed at revitalising the sector.
Other important actions are coming from abroad. Perrance Shiri, Minister for Agriculture, has revealed that Belarus is set to establish a state-of-the-art dairy facility in Zimbabwe to improve national milk production.
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