• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Milk output up 16% in first 10 months

ByEconomic Times

Nov 12, 2022

By ETimes

Zimbabwe’s raw milk production in the first 10 months to October increased 16% to 74.99 million liters from 64.80 million liters recorded in the same period last year, official data shows.

The livestock industry contributes to household and national food and nutrition security, foreign currency earnings, and is a source of livelihood for about 67% of the country’s rural households.

Latest figures from the Ministry of Agriculture’s dairy services department show that milk intake by processors was up 14% to 67.63 million liters from 59.14 million liters in the comparable period last year. Accordingly, retailed milk by producers rose 30% to 7.35 million liters from 5.65 million liters in the comparative period.

October milk output rose 13% to 8.14 million liters, compared to 7.2 million liters in the same period last year. October milk is now the highest so far after replacing the month of July, which produced 7.84 million liters.

The country’s monthly milk requirement stands at about 10 million liters. To cover the shortage, milk supplies are being supplemented by imports.

“Maintaining this growth momentum in the remaining quarter will result in the 2022 national milk production being in excess of 90 million liters thanks to efforts by all dairy value chain stakeholders,” the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF) said in a tweet.

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At its peak production in the early 90s, Zimbabwe had a 42 000-milking herd producing 260 million liters of milk. This, however, decreased to an all-time low of 36 million liters in 2009, with a total dairy herd of 22, 000. Since then, Zimbabwe has been on a recovery path and, as of 2021, has produced 80 million liters.

The major challenges affecting growth of the national herd include but not limited to feed which now accounts for over 70-80% of the cost of production, limited use of Artificial Insemination (AI) and sexed semen, loss of dairy cow genetics from natural breeding, limited access to affordable finance for procurement of heifers, limited supply of heifers by breeders in Zimbabwe and diseases, according to IH Securities – Harare

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