ZAMBIA – The Dairy Association of Zambia (DAZ) has received US$2 million funding from the Swedish government for the implementation of the Digital Information Management System (DIMS).

According to Lusaka Times, the proceeds will go towards enhancing growth of the milk value chain especially by enabling small scale farmers access goods and services.

The initiative will be carried out under a pilot program for a period of two years, with possibilities to upscale to a wider area and probably longer period of time.

Speaking on the programme, DAZ Executive Director Jeremiah Kasalo said that it will be implemented to 30 out of 67 zones of milk collection centres across the country.

He said the current consumption is 36 liters per person per year which culminates into 500 liters per person per year, noting that there was need to create about 200 milk collection centres on top of the already existing 74 milk collection centres.

There is need to revamp the dairy sector to tap the potential it possesses.

The Dairy Association of Zambia says 381 million litres of fresh milk produced in the country per year, either goes to waste or is sold informally.

Only 74 million litres reach the formal milk processing channels, from the total of 455 million litres produced per year.

Such investments are meant to develop infrastructure to tap the lost fresh milk and supply more to the existing and upcoming processors.

The country is also facing another challenge of imported powdered milk and in response to this, the government moved to increase the import tax on such milk.

The dairy association implied that the industry is losing millions as a result of uncompetitive market.

Last month, the European Union approved US$86,625.09 (1 million Kwacha) to the Dairy Association of Zambia to address challenges facing dairy farmers and traders.

The move was aimed at ensuring farmers produce quality milk that can meet international standards.