Zimbabwe’s raw milk production in the first month of 2023 rose 10.13% to 8.14 million litres from 7.39 million litres in the same period last year, official data shows.
The country’s monthly milk requirement stands at about 10 million liters. To cover the shortage, milk supplies are being supplemented by imports.
Latest figures from the Ministry of Agriculture’s dairy services department show that milk intake by processors was up 13.19% to 7.53 million liters from 6.65 million liters in the comparable period last year.
On the other hand, retailed milk by producers declined 17.41% to 609 577 liters from 738 078 liters in the comparative period.
The country’s milk production rose 15% to 91.31 million litres in 2022 compared to 79.6 million litres realised in 2021. This was attributed to the importation of heifers through private and public initiatives and local breeding through the use of artificial insemination techniques with an emphasis on the use of sexed semen from dairy bulls.
December milk output rose 9.45% to 8.32 million litres, compared to 7.6 million litres in December 2021. At 8.32 million litres, it ranked as the highest monthly milk output in 2022 followed by October’s milk output of 8.14 million litres.
The average milk output for 2022 and 2021 stood at 7.61 million litres and 6.63 million litres respectively.
For the first time in history, the country produced 8 million litres of milk per month from 2004 to 2005.
The country’s dairy industry however faces a plethora of challenges, which include high production and processing costs, a lack of bankable security of land tenure, limited access to affordable finance and foreign currency, and a high compliance cost – Harare