By Davison Vandira
THE revitalisation of the local dairy industry has gathered momentum, with the country’s milk processors having started value chain backward integration as part of efforts to meet national demand of at least 145 million litres per annum.
A visit to land reform beneficiary 250-hectare Chivandire Dairy Farm in Featherstone one is welcomed by a pleasant scent of fresh milk.
The revitalisation of the dairy farm is being spearheaded by Dairibord Zimbabwe in its quest to complement government policies in particular, the National Development Strategy One, which is prioritising development of value chains for increased productivity and employment creation.
The farm has grown from five heifers in 2018 to boast of a massive 278 heifers, producing five thousand litres of quality milk daily, with an average milk yield of 21 litres per cow.
“The revolution of the dairy industry in Zimbabwe is now a reality as you can see the miraculous growth of Chivandire Dairy Farm, we are now a force to reckon thanks to the government who gave us the land and now we are being supported by milk processors particularly Dairibord and we have now managed to modernise this Farm to produce quality milk.”
As one of the largest milk processors, Dairibord believes in supporting a strong agricultural value chain base that leads to increased manufacturing output to transform the industry through the use of modern technologies throughout the country.
“Various initiatives have been put in place to boost milk volumes for the business. Among others, the initiatives include Financial assistance for the procurement of heifers for the company’s milk producers, Procurement support of stock feeds, animal drugs, and cleaning chemicals for the farmers, Free Veterinary service support to ease the farmer’s burden concerning overall animal health and welfare, On-farm milk testing services – for possible raw milk contamination.”
The backward integration at this farm has also roped in surrounding smallholder farmers who received heifers from the government and have since formed Pimbi Small Scale Dairy Cooperative which is now producing milk for the country.
With such production and productivity, economic observers are content that Zimbabwe is surely retracing its footsteps to former glory when it used to produce 260 million litres of milk per annum.