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Zimbabwe: Dairy Industry Faces Collapse

11 September 2007

ZIMBABWE - Milk worth millions of dollars is lost every day at dairy farms across the country as farmers fail to transport it to processors due to severe fuel shortages triggered by the government's controversial price blitz.

"Most of you would be shocked when you collect your cheques from the NDC because there won't be any money since your milk got bad before it reached the processor."

Ezra Ndlovu, the NADF regional chairman

Farmers attending a joint crisis meeting of the National Dairy Farmers Association and Cattle Producers Association here on Friday, said they feared they might soon be forced out of business.

Milk products, like other basic commodities have virtually disappeared from shops in the aftermath of the government edict forcing business to revert to pre-June 18 prices.

But NADF says precious milk was going bad before it could reach the processors.

The National Dairy Co-operative (NDC), which collects the milk from farmers, has reportedly grounded most of its fleet because of the worsening fuel crisis.

"The milk is not getting to the processors in urban centres," Ezra Ndlovu, the NADF regional chairman told the meeting, "and we are beginning to see the effects of that with the ongoing shortages.

"At my farm, I had to throw away 900 litres of milk recently because it went bad before it could be collected.

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