ZAMBIA – The Dairy Association of Zambia (DAZ) has stated that the Southern African country is self-sufficient in milk production with some of the excesses being informally exported to neighbouring countries.

In an interview with the Zambian Business Times, Project Manager of DAZ Victor Ngandu stated that Zambia is producing about 655 million liters of milk annually.

He added that the country does not face any deficit in milk production but due to the challenges in raw milk collections, the formally collected and accounted for milk is only about 70 to 80 million liters.

DAZ disclosed that the consumption of milk per capita is around 36 liters per year and considering the current population in Zambia of about 18 million, total annual consumption is about 650 million liters.

Even with the excess milk production, the country still imports approximately 5 million liters annually.

Due to this, Ngandu highlighted there is need for about 200 additional formal milk collection centers or depots each collecting of about 2,000 liters per day to be established in Zambia either by a cluster of farmers or government or cooperatives.

This will eliminate the imports and save the country foreign exchange outflows.

He stated that the milk being imported into the country may be a scenario of using Zambia as a “dumping ground” as the prices at which the imported milk is landing is too low compared to locally produced milk.

According to N’gandu, the structure of the Dairy Industry of Zambia is a large informal milk market.

“If you take the total milk production in the country of about 655 million liters, the major producers of milk are smallholder farmers who account for 80% of the produced milk while emerging and commercial farmers make up the balance of 20%,” he stated.

But when you look at the processed milk market, which is where the better profit margins are, the ratio is flipped back as the commercial and emerging farmers accounts for 80% while the small scale only get the 20% slice of the market.

Commercial milk in Zambia is mostly produced in Central, Lusaka, Copperbelt and Southern provinces.

The dairy association members produce milk related products such as yogurt (both drinking and eating), fresh milk, pasteurized milk, UHT – milk, cheese, butter, milk blended drinks and milk cream.

Some of the top milk processing companies include Finta, Lactalis (formally Parmalat), Varun beverages (Creambell brands), Zam-milk and Trade Kings Dairy Gold.

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