Government says the launch of the command dairy programme is expected to stimulate annual milk production to between 97 to 100 million liters by 2019.

As of December last year, raw milk production stood at 54.47 million litres.

Sangano Dairy Association in Makoni Central constituency, where the command dairy programme was launched has been identified as a model to be used in guaranteeing Zimbabwe achieves set targets in milk production.

Under the programme, heifers will be availed to farmers and once milk sales commence, payments for the beasts begin.

“This is a national programme where we expect farmers across the country to benefit. We want to have discipline in this initiative as this is one of the ways identified as key in our food security efforts,” said the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Cde Patrick Chinamasa.

The roll out of the command dairy programme will enhance the national herd at the same time unlocking export markets and guarantee food self sufficiency.

“We need to focus on development. We have been given cows that we will use and these must translate into improved productivity. We need to make sure that the government led initiatives do not fail,” noted Sangano Dairy Association chairperson Mr Isaac Madondo.

Farmers in Makoni Central constituency also received seed as well as fertilisers under the 2018 / 2019 Presidential Inputs Scheme.

The Presidential Inputs Scheme has been identified as instrumental in guaranteeing the country achieves food self sufficiency with early disbursement of inputs expected to ensure farmers plant their maize crop on time.