Midlands Minister of State Cde Owen Ncube has held a crunch meeting with dairy farmers in Gweru and lands officers to iron out issues that are hampering production in the dairy industry.

Cde Ncube has called for the immediate address of challenges affecting dairy farmers from the province so as to allow production to go full throttle.

The dairy sector is one of the key economic areas that has been experiencing a myriad of challenges chief among them illegal settlers and unresolved land disputes that have resulted in some instances dairy farmers being left with less than 15 hectares of land.

Speaking during a consultative meeting with the Midlands Minister of State, dairy farmers highlighted issues affecting production.

Cde Ncube assured the dairy farmers that their grievances will be attended to and warned illegal settlers on dairy farms to vacate the farms and allow production take place uninterrupted.

He also urged provincial lands officers to address all outstanding issues on dairy farms as a matter of urgency.

Despite the challenges, the dairy farmers said they were working on strategies to try and improve operations with the hope of doubling production by 2020.

Traditionally dairy farmers could supply the local and export market, but of late the industry has been struggling to meet the country’s national demand of milk forcing imports of dairy products from neighbouring countries to cover the milk deficit.