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Zimbabwe: Future of Dairying Under Siege

18 September 2007

ZIMBABWE - The dairy sector in Zimbabwe is in a bad and perilous state due to the current economic crisis, hyper inflation, power cuts, unavailability of fuel, shortages and high input costs resulting in the farmers’ survival no longer being about money, but the passion they have for the industry, Ajs Kirk, chairperson of Zimbabwe’s National Association of Dairy Farmers (NADF) says.

Kirk says the future viability of farmers is under siege due to mounting pressure from both the economy being driven by an inflation rate of more than 7 400% and the increasingly unavailability of basic inputs.

“These challenges have seen milk output declining drastically in recent years. Both farmers and milk processors face bankruptcy due to dramatic, sustained and manipulated fall in prices. Right now the price is approximately below the total economic cost of production,” he says.

The latest snapshot of Zimbabwe’s dairy industry shows that 200 dairy farmers and 158 000 dairy cows have disappeared from the industry since 1990.

The country’s milk production nose dive by 65% from 256 million litres in 1990 to 90 million in 2006.

This falls 50% short of the dairy domestic demand which is estimated at 180 million litres per year. This national requirement is against a drop in the country’s per capita consumption which went down to the current 7 litres from a high of 25 litres in 1990.

The number of registered producers declined from 514 in 1990 to 278 in 2007.

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Source: AfricaNews



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