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‘Herd revival vital for dairy exports’

06 July 2007

ZIMBABWE - Zimbabwe has the potential to earn US$65 million annually from dairy exports if it resuscitates its dairy herd to previous peak levels, an official said on Wednesday.

Dairibord Holdings group chief executive Mr Antony Mandiwanza said the country’s dairy herd had dropped from a peak of 191 000 in 1990 to the current 33 000, resulting in a considerable decline in milk production.

He said annual milk production had plunged from 256 million litres in 1990 to 90 million litres at present.

Mr Mandiwanza was speaking at a two-day national dairy symposium, which started in Harare on Wednesday.

He said there was need to address issues of funding, training of framers and availability of stockfeeds for the dairy sector to rebound.

Adequate stockfeeds, Mr Mandiwanza said, would help boost milk yield from the current 14 litres per cow per day to 25 litres per cow per day.

"The availability of stockfeeds can easily increase milk production by more than 10 percent within the shortest period of time," he said.

Stockfeeds constituted about 77 percent of the total costs incurred in dairy farming, followed by vaccines.

Mr Mandiwanza, however, said due to various constraints facing the sector, the number of milk producers had also declined from 514 in 1990 to 278 producers, while the number of registered milk processors had tumbled from 90 to 34.

He said the sector relied heavily on imported equipment to process milk, and appealed to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to allocate sufficient foreign currency to the industry.

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Source: The Herald


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