ZIMBABWE – Dairibord, a prominent dairy company in Zimbabwe, has entered into a co-funded grant agreement with a unit of USAID to significantly increase raw milk supply by establishing a reliable supplier base from smallholder beef-dairy farmers.

This initiative, implemented in collaboration with the USAID-funded Feed the Future Zimbabwe Fostering Agribusiness for Resilient Markets (FARM) Activity, aims to strengthen the local dairy industry and contribute to the livelihoods of rural communities.

The program will focus on wards three, four, and 16 of Chipinge District in Manicaland, utilizing village milk aggregators to achieve its objectives.

Three new village milk aggregators will be established, with the potential to engage 150 additional beef-dairy cattle farmers.

In addition, Dairibord revealed plans to invest in cold chain trucks to enhance the transportation of raw milk from farmers, improving both its quality and quantity.

Mr. Evert Oostindiën, Dairibord’s milk supply development executive, emphasized the benefits of milking beef cows, noting that milk from traditional/indigenous breeds has higher butterfat content.

He highlighted the importance of equipping beef-dairy farmers with knowledge and skills to supply raw milk efficiently, emphasizing the role of village milk aggregators in achieving economies of scale.

Kudakwashe Ndoro, Chief of the Party at Feed the Future Zimbabwe FARM activity, expressed optimism about the transformative impact of relying on smallholder farmers for raw milk supply.

He mentioned that this approach not only lowers the risk to milk supply but also has a multiplier effect in communities, inspiring others to join the partnership and supply milk.

Ndoro also noted that the collaboration is expected to strengthen the milk value chain, potentially adding 100 beef-dairy producers to the current cohort of 75 beneficiaries supplying milk to established village milk aggregators.

The project’s models will help smallholder farmers transition into fully-fledged commercial dairy farming, with training on dairying and good business practices.

“The partnership includes technical assistance and training from Dairibord, introducing improved, high-yielding breeds through artificial insemination, and promoting the growth of on-farm feed,” he said.

“This comprehensive approach aims to enhance the viability of commercial clean milk production by smallholder beneficiaries, contributing to increased incomes, nutrition security, and hygiene in rural households in the Chipinge district.”

Dairibord expressed its commitment to developing small-scale dairy farmers, aligning with the national raw milk production goals and supporting the indigenisation agenda.

The company, currently collaborating with over 480 small-scale farmers, envisions doubling the contribution of small-scale farmers to its raw milk intake with continued support from initiatives like this.

The proposed program targets 325 beef-dairy farmers in Chipinge over 12 months, building on the success of initiatives that led to a commendable 9% growth in the country’s milk output in 2023, reaching 99.8 million litres.


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