Zim milk out­put up 13%

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

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

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