Milk production in Zimbabwe increased by 5% in the first quarter of 2023, official data showed on Tuesday.
In Q3 2023, milk output stood at 22.61 million litres compared to 21.46 million litres in Q1 2022.
The dairy industry in Zimbabwe is facing various challenges, such as high production costs, low productivity, and limited access to finance and markets.
However, there are efforts being made by the government and other stakeholders to improve milk production through initiatives such as training farmers on best practices and providing them with better genetics for their dairy herds.
Latest figures from the Ministry of Agriculture’s dairy services department show that milk intake by processors rose by 8% to 20.76 million litres in Q1 2023 from 19.26 million litres in the same period in Q1 2022.
On the other hand, retailed milk by producers fell 15% to 1.86 million litres in Q1 2023 from 2.19 million litres in the comparative period.
In the month of March 2023, milk output stood at 7,51 million litres, representing a 2.3% increase from the same period last year. At 7,51 million litres, it was 8% above previous month (February 2023) output of 6.95 million litres.
But comparing March 2023 output to January 2023 output of 8.14 million – the highest output so far – it is down 8%.
The country’s milk production rose 15% to 91.31 million litres in 2022, compared to 79.6 million litres realised in 2021. Current production levels fall short of the projected 120-130 million litres of raw milk national requirement.
The country’s monthly milk requirement stands at about 10 million litres. To cover the shortage, milk supplies are being supplemented by imports.
The dairy herd increased by 11.3% from 47 845 dairy animals in 2021 to 53 250 dairy animals in 2022, according to a report on the second-round crop, livestock and fisheries assessment.
The milking herd number in 2022 is 35 100 – Harare