ZIMBABWE – Dairy farmers in Zimbabwe are excited to welcome the commissioning of the Doonside milk collection centre in Mutorashanga.
The facility, which has better technology for storage, has been set up to help overcome milk handling challenges and boost the country’s milk production in line with the Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) goals.
According to Zimbabwe, the project seeks to increase the capacity of smallholder farmers by increasing their production and linking them to the markets.
Mrs Silvia Mahala of Ward 25 in Nyabira said the initiative was a welcome development since farmers are guaranteed a good market adding that the initiative is going to empower the majority of farmers financially.
“This is a positive step in the rural area, some of our children will be employed at the centre. Moreover, some of us are going to learn how to produce different milk products at the centre,” she added.
Development of the dairy sector is an efficient tool as it generates a continuous flow of income, diversifies risk, improves utilization of resources, and generates employment.
The dairy farmers noted that they are looking forward to producing 105 million litres of milk this year as they upscale their dairy project to meet the annual target of 150 million litres of milk.
“We want to grow our pastures so that it becomes cheap and enables us to produce more quality milk and also make sure that our cattle are well fed and that diseases are controlled,” they said.
“We will be moving around the country to establish centres like these. What is needed is to make sure that the cattle should suit the environment.”
A positive step towards growth
Recently Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union economist Ms Nyasha Taderera said the improvement made so far in the dairy sector is a positive step towards the growth of the dairy industry.
“There is a positive step towards the improvement of the dairy sector. There will be a reduction of import of milk powders from South Africa,” she noted.
“This also shows that milk consumption in the country will increase and there will be more investors in the dairy industry.”
To support the sector, the government, working in conjunction with development partners, has also embarked on a massive US$4 million project aimed at increasing the country’s dairy herd and boosting the horticulture value chains in 13 districts