Zimbabwe dairy sector receives US$5m boost despite COVID-19 pandemic

Fresh milk being poured into a clean metal container under the sun

ZIMBABWE – Local investors in Zimbabwe have injected US$5 million in the country’s dairy industry in the last six months, despite the global corona virus pandemic which has severely affected the world economy across a broad spectrum of sectors.

Some of the highlighted companies who have made the investment in the industry include Dairibord who invested US$1.1 million in plant upgrade while Dendairy invested US$3 million during the second quarter.

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Dendairy is anticipating to produce around 50 percent of the national milk production target of 82 million litres.

This was revealed in a recent government report on the state of the industry during the lockdown period, reports The Herald.

Despite the investments made, overall capacity utilisation is reported to have declined between March and July to 33 percent.

“However, for some specific milk products such as liquid milks, capacity utilisation is high at approximately 60 percent and is getting better,” reads the report in part.

Other cross cutting challenges noted by the report, done by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, include foreign currency shortages for the importation of critical raw materials and spare parts, delays at the borders as clearance process were taking long for both imports and exports and depressed demand.

In other related news, the government of Zimbabwe has launched the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy.

The national thrust for production is expected to boost Zimbabwe with a US$8.2 billion agriculture economy by 2025.

The strategy will be underpinned by growing the economy, ensuring Zimbabwe grows its own food and ensuring that a vast swathe of rural families moves from poverty to growing affluence.

Launching the strategy, President Mnangagwa said the government’s economic policies were aimed at industrialisation, modernisation and creating a sustainable investment environment in society.

The composite plan of action was drawn from the country’s Agriculture Recovery and Livestock Growth plans.

It outlines specific key projects that include provision of inputs to both vulnerable and smallholder farmers, fostering market links, climate-proofing all agriculture support programmes, implementation of market-based programmes which bring in the private sector and improve competitiveness of agriculture commodities on local and export markets.

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