ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe’s largest dairy company, Dairibord Holdings, has revealed its intent in boosting high-quality raw milk production by supporting farmers in critical areas, including feed formulation and nutrition through its Milk Supply Development Unit (MSDU).

Josphat Sachikonye, the company’s chairman, said that Dairibord would continue to provide farmers with veterinary support, herd growth projects, input procurement facilities as well as sustainability and alternative energy options.

The company has been supporting dairy farmers through the MSDU to increase the herd and boost productivity at the farm level.

Sachikonye added that Dairibord would continue to seek value-adding opportunities and would leverage initiatives in raw milk production growth.

“Raw milk utilised for the year stands at 28.5 million litres, a 4% increase from 2021, representing 34% of the total milk intake by the processors,” he noted.

The group had previously recorded inflation-adjusted revenue of US$63,38 billion during the financial year 2022, a 40% increase in the comparative period.

“Moderate volume growth and price adjustments to protect margins were the main drivers of revenue growth,” said Mr Sachikonye.

He also noted that it would underpin the volume growth in 2023 by the recently completed capital investment projects, which include a third Maheu (Pfuko) line, a drinking yoghurt (Yoggie) line and a third blow moulder for Steri milk bottles.

“In addition, a new chilled water plant was installed at the Harare Rekayi Tangwena factory to optimize production capabilities,” said Mr Sachikonye.

This occurs shortly after a 5% increase in raw milk output was reported in the first quarter of 2023, to 22.62 million litres, as dairy farmers in the country continue to benefit from the government support.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development’s dairy services department show that raw milk intake by processors rose by 8% to 20.76 million litres in the first quarter of 2023 from 19.26 million litres in the same period in 2022.

The dairy industry in Zimbabwe has been facing various challenges, including high production costs, low productivity, and limited access to finance and markets.

The Government, together with other stakeholders, have made efforts to improve raw milk production through initiatives such as training farmers on best practices and providing them with better genetics for their dairy herds.

The Government has continued to provide financial and other forms of support to dairy farmers to drive the growth of the dairy industry.

 “The increase is to be achieved through promoting on-farm feed production and formulation to augment nutrition and reduce costs, and also to promote improved efficiency at farm level,” said Addmore Waniwa, an officer with the dairy services department.

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