National milk production projected to increase by 15% this year

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Milk production is expected to go up by at least 15 percent this year on the back of massive government support to the dairy sector.

Lamour farm in Manicaland province is now producing 15 000 litres of milk per day up from 9 000 litres, with the quality of feed cited as key towards increased production.

“For the past five we were producing around 9 000 litres but we are now producing 15 000 litres per day which is a positive development. If you want to increase milk production, one needs to improve the quality of the feeds,” said Baureni Dzuda Lamour Farm Manager

The farm is among milk producers expected to drive the rebound of the dairy scetor in lght of the reduction in the national milk production in2020 and 2021.

Speaking to State media  Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmer National Chairperson Ernest Muzorehwa said the target is to ramp up output by 15 percent.

“Since the beginning of the year 2021, investments across the value chain amounted to twenty million United States dollars. This has pushed capacity utilisation from 34% to in 2020 to 60 percent. The projected 2022 national milk production volume is 88.8 million litres which is 15 percent increase from the 2021 volume,” said Muzorehwa.

The dairy sector however still requires more support and structural changes to further increase national milk production that still falls short of the national demand of over 120 million litres.

“There is need to ensure a viable producer price is availed as well as ensuring stock feeds are affordable. There is also a need to expedite the implementation of the of the command silage scheme. The main challenge in the dairy sector is high cost of inputs such as feeds and raw materials that cumulatively constitutes 75 percent of the total cost of production. “Currently the standard milk price average 102.93 Zimbabwe dollars vs production cost per litre of 141.65 which has led to production trap in the dairy value chain” he added.

Government launched the Diary Revitalisation Programme as part of efforts to revive the dairy industry and Zimbabwe agricultural growth programme fund to boost the livestock sector.