By ETimes

Milk production in Zimbabwe totaled 57.6 million litres in the first nine months of 2021, up 1% from year ago levels, official data showed.

The southern African nation does not produce enough milk. In 2020, milk production was 76.7 million litres, against annual demand of 120 million litres. This means local dairy companies have to import milk powders for processing, to fill the gap.

Latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture’s dairy services department shows that milk intake by processors was up 2% to 52.49 million litres from 51.67 million litres in the same period in 2020.

However, retailed milk by producers stood at 5.1 million litres, down 5% from the corresponding period of 2020.

The improved performance comes on the back of heifer imports through the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers and partners for small scale dairy producers.

From January through September, average monthly milk production stood at 6.4 million litres. But, in the same period last year it was at 6.34 million litres.

In the month of September, raw milk production rose 6.42% to 6.98 million litres from 6.55 million litres in the same period last year. The country’s raw milk output hit a monthly record in August at 7.09 million litres, up 11% compared with the same period last year as dairy farmers continued to ramp up production despite high cost of stock feed.

July came in at 6.73 million litres up from 6.52 million litres previously. In June, milk production was up 6% to 6.58 million litres from 6.2 million litres in the same month last year.

Raw milk output started picking up in May as it rose 6.48% to 6.5 million litres from 6.11 million litres last year. For April, milk output fell 2.57% to 5.86 million litres from 6.01 million litres in the comparative period.

February output stood at 5.42 million litres, a 11% decline on last year’s corresponding period. In March milk output suffered a 6.05% decline to 5.93 million litres from 6.32 million litres in the same month last year. January output, which usually ranked highest, was down 5% to 6.46 million litres from 6.83 million litres in the same month last year.

National milk output is expected to further decline to 85.6 million litres from 92.3 million litres in 2020, according to the treasury – Harare

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