Zim milk output up 13%
ZIMBABWE’S raw milk production increased 13 percent in the 10 months to October 2016, compared to the same period last year mainly due to an increased herd and an availability of stock feed for dairy cows. Statistics from the Dairy Services Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development show that milk production for the period under review stood at 54,3 million litres, up from 47, 6 million litres same period in 2015. During the period under review, the intake of raw milk for processing was up 17 percent from 41,7 million litres in the prior comparable period to 48,7 million litres. However, producers retailed 6,7 percent less milk in the 10 months to October than the comparable period. In 2015, 5,9 million litres were retailed by producers and the number went up to 5,6 million litres this year.
On a month-on-month basis, production for October went up 11, 6 percent to 5,6 million litres from 5,03 million litres in October 2015.
Zimbabwe has been failing to meet targets for milk production since its drastic drop to 12 million litres in 2009. The total amount of milk produced in 2015 stood at 57, 5 million compared to 55,4 million produced in 2014.
At its peak in 1999, Zimbabwe produced over 150 million litres of milk annually and was exporting into the region and beyond.
The low supply of raw milk is contributing to the high import bill as dairy companies import whole powdered milk to supplement. The move to increase the national herd by importing heifers has however contributed to an increase in the number of milking cows and subsequently the increase in milk production. — BH24