ZIMBABWE – Government-initiated and private-sector led interventions in Zimbabwe’s dairy sector are yielding tangible results, with milk volumes experiencing a 27% surge.

Statistics released by the Dairy Services Unit (DSU) indicated increase in milk production, from seven million litres in February 2023 to nine million litres in February this year.

According to the report, the rise in milk production reflected concerted efforts aimed at herd growth, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced management practices.

Investments targeted at these areas, coupled with provision of pluralistic extension services and advancements in animal health management, have contributed to the positive trend observed in the dairy sector.

According to Mr. Edward Warambwa, national chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF), previous investments and focused interventions have played a pivotal role in driving the increase in milk production.

However, he noted a month-on-month decline this year, attributed to deteriorating pasture conditions and water availability exacerbated by El Nino conditions.

Additionally, sluggish milk prices against rising production costs have prompted farmers to adjust feed quantities to manage their business viability.

While acknowledging the challenges posed by cost of production versus producer price dynamics, ZADF remains actively engaged with the Government and dairy value chain stakeholders to address these concerns and ensure the sustainability of dairy farming operations at the grassroots level.

Looking ahead, computations on expected annual growth are underway, with industry and government stakeholders considering potential drought relief interventions.

The El Nino-induced drought has not only impacted Zimbabwe but has also affected neighboring countries, leading to a reduction in the availability of stock-feed raw materials like brans and cake.

This, in turn, poses challenges to Zimbabwe’s dairy value chain by potentially impeding milk production and productivity.

“The collaborative efforts between the government and private sector entities in addressing these challenges and leveraging opportunities for growth are crucial for sustaining the positive momentum witnessed in Zimbabwe’s dairy sector,” ZADF noted.

“By fostering a conducive environment for dairy farming and implementing targeted interventions, Zimbabwe aims to further enhance its dairy industry’s resilience and contribution to the national economy.”

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