|Local milk production up|
|Friday, 13 July 2012 18:53|
Local milk production rose by 1,2 million litres in the first five months of the year owing to the decentralisation of the milk buying and selling system by Government, raising hopes the industry is now on the mend.
Dairy chief officer in the Ministry Mrs Tendai Marecha said Government’s policy to establish a free market system in the dairy industry had assisted farmers to resuscitate their dairy farming activities countrywide.
“The monopoly of NDC resulted in many farmers not being liquid enough to maintain their dairy cattle and this resulted in their dairy cattle failing to produce enough milk.
She said before dollarisation of the economy in 2009, dairy farming throughout the country had collapsed due to economic sanctions imposed on the country by the West and its allies.
“With the old system, farmers would get their money after a fortnight or longer because the process involved one buyer, which was NDC.”
At its peak dairy farming produced over 150 million litres of milk annually.
“Despite the dry spell that hit the country, we have managed to secure enough stockfeed for the country’s dairy herd, hence milk production is set to increase,” she said.
Rising milk production has raised hopes that milk processors such as Nestlé and Dairibord Holdings Limited will, with time, be progressively weaned off dependence on imported milk.
Due to the huge gap in supply, processors have had to rely on imported powdered milk and reconstituting it back into liquid milk.
There are various schemes that have been hatched by various organisations in order to enable farmers to boost their dairy herd.