ZAMBIA – Zambeef Products Plc has increased its milk production capacity from last year’s 6 million litres to 6.5 million litres this year, despite a reduction in milk sourced from the small-scale dairy farmers.

Recently, the company told Government that it has a deficit of over 300,000 litres of milk per month because small-scale dairy farmers are unable to supply the commodity.

But according to the company’s latest annual report availed to the Daily Mail in Lusaka recently, the firm has increased the average daily yield per cow to 27 litres this year from about 21 litres last year.

The report says although the company is only able to process about 35,000 litres per day, it has the capacity to process over 100, 000 litres.

Commenting on the report, company quality control manager Musonda Sikazwe said, “Our dairy produced 6.5 million litres of milk this year, compared to six million last year, and milk sourced from the small-scale dairy sector increased significantly to about 2.4 million litres this year from about 952000 litres last year, despite having a reduction in milk sourced from small-scale farmers.

“Our milk processing capacity is about 130, 000 litres every day, but we are currently processing about 35,000 litres due to a shortfall of about 300,000 litres per month.”

Mr Sikazwe, however, said the new milk processing plant that was commissioned in November last year has increased daily milk processing capacity to about 65,000 litres, from about 25,000 and that it is currently running at 35,000 litres per day.

Mr Sikazwe said the new plant has allowed Zambeef Plc to target supply growth more aggressively and increase the number of value added products, which now include 40 product lines which earn better margins.

He said the division will continue to be a key focus area and continued growth is expected next year.

December 5, 2014;