By Stanley James, Business Editor
ZIMBABWE’s dairy industry is on a rebound after an 18 percent growth in output since January this year, raising hopes of reducing imports.
Data released at the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers Annual General Meeting in Harare this Wednesday shows that milk output will meet national requirements of over 120 million litres.
“The statistics are showing a positive trajectory already there is an 18 percent growth in milk production compared to last year so indeed the industry is bouncing back,” said Ernest Muzorewa, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers.
For the dairy industry, addressing high production costs is imperative.
“Regionally the costs are just too high therefore there is need for consideration relating to what needs to be addressed how resources can be mobilised as well as the need to incentives the dairy sector farming value chain in a manner that facilitates viability while assuring lucrative returns,” said Alex Dando, a dairy farmer.
Government has assured dairy farmers of more incentives.
“The figures really show actual state of the dairy industry as well as the growth trajectory trend in the past few years while there is optimism of better returns there are still gaps that needs attention therefore i have directed the AFC bank to also offer loans at concessionary rates,” said Dr Anxious Masuka Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.
A Dairy Sector Recovery Plan is also focusing on increased value addition of raw milk.
During the Annual General Meeting several firms in the dairy sector value chain were also honoured for their commitment to production.
Despite limitations on supply chains, the dairy sector has also resolved to procure machinery for beneficiation of raw milk.
In the long term, plans are on course to import more heifers towards the recovery of the industry.
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