ZIMBABWE – Government led import subsititution policy through local dairy production is delivering positive results with milk production for the first 5 months of 2022 increasing by 6% , according to Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary Dr John Basera 

S peaking at the pastures field tour held in Harare recently, Dr. Basera revealed that milk production had risen  from 36 million litres in 2022 to 38 million litres in 2023

Consequently, demand for milk imports has substancially gone down. According to Dr John Basera said milk products imports dropped by 86 percent from 3 418 tonnes recorded in 2022 to 465 tonnes this year

“This is in response to deliberate efforts by Government to ensure 100 percent import substitution by 2025,” he said.

Basera added that the government will continue to support the dairy industry in order to meet the national demand of 120 million litres.

Surpassing this goal will remove reliance on the imports, save crucial foreign exchange and positioning the country for the export market.

He also noted that the government has distributed a standard input package comprising of climate smart pasture options and alternative feed to promote on farm feed formulations under the Presidential Silage Programme.

“Government initiatives are targeting to drastically cut the cost of milk production through the setting up of a pasture-based system and increase business sustainability,” Basera stated.

In addition Basera said that the aim of the programmes is to close the viability gap which was created by the rising costs of production while the milk selling price remained stagnant highlighting that stock feed contribute more than 60 percent of total costs incurred on the farm.

He assured that the availability of feed will spearhead the growth of the dairy subsector by increasing milk production and productivity from 12 litres per cow daily to 18 litres.

“The focus for all dairy value chain actors should be on rebuilding the sector and I would like to assure you that the Government will continue to support the industry operations and development.”

At the beginning of the year, Zimbabwe was seen making strides towards self-sufficiency in raw milk production, according to Basera.

He reported that raw milk production in the country had increased from 79.6 million litres in 2021 to 91.6 million litres in 2022, a rise of 14.3%.

Basera aslo said that imports of milk powder had declined by 17% over this period, dropping from 8,9 million kilograms to 7,4 million kilograms.

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