ZIMBABWE – Dairibord Zimbabwe, a prominent milk processing company, has experienced a notable increase in raw milk intake, thanks to the Government’s import substitution policy aimed at enhancing local production.

The company’s financial report for the year ended December 31, 2023, revealed a significant surge in raw milk intake, reaching 31.4 million litres, marking a 10% increase compared to the previous year.

According to the report, this surge in raw milk intake is attributed to the Government’s initiative to promote local production and encourage the uptake of raw products by domestic processing companies.

Dairibord Zimbabwe’s chairman, Mr Josphat Sachikonye, highlighted the company’s commitment to investing in technology and training programs to support local producers, thereby ensuring a consistent and high-quality supply of raw milk while empowering the local farming community.

“The milk supply development unit continues to invest in technology and training programmes to support our producers, promoting best practices and sustainable agricultural methods,” he said.

“These initiatives ensure consistent and high-quality raw milk supply and support the empowerment of the local farming community.”

Despite challenges posed by a volatile trading environment and reduced consumer spending, Dairibord Zimbabwe achieved positive volume growth, with sales volume reaching 108 million litres, an 11% increase compared to the previous year.

Looking ahead, the company remains focused on driving volume growth through continued investment in technology, expansion of plant capacities, and optimization of manufacturing capabilities.

“In the outlook, raw milk supply growth and capital investment drive will underpin the overall volume trajectory, with focus being deployed on expanding plant capacities, optimising manufacturing capabilities, maintaining financial discipline and investing in technology and innovation to enhance product offerings.”

The Government’s efforts to boost local milk production have yielded promising results, with national milk production witnessing a 9%  increase from 2022 to 2023.

This positive trend has been further reinforced by fiscal measures introduced by Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, including the extension of duty suspension on milk powder imports and a gradual reduction in milk powder imports over the coming years.

These measures have already begun to yield positive outcomes, with milk product imports declining by 16% in 2022 and a further 15% in 2023.

The Government’s long-term objective is to increase raw milk production to 130 million liters per annum by 2025, aligning with the goals of the National Development Strategy 1.

Overall, the Government’s import policy, coupled with strategic investments by companies like Dairibord Zimbabwe, is driving growth in the dairy industry and fostering sustainable agricultural development in Zimbabwe.

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