Zimbabwe’s dairy industry is on a verge of a boom in a development attributed to an increase in the number of dairy cattle breeders and the transition to multi-currency system.
The turnaround of the local dairy industry has resulted in an increase of milk production from 40.7 million litres in 2010 to 50.6 million litres in 2011.
Chief Dairy Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Ms Tendayi Marecha said the industry is currently experiencing a new lease of life due to improved practices through education and training as well as the entry of many small holder farmers.
“The dairy industry is growing, farmers are breeding and they want to increase their heads. A lot of milk is also going through the informal sector,” said Ms Marecha.
Ms Marecha highlighted that despite the improvement in volumes, the cost of milk production in the country is still high compared to other countries due to the high cost of capital as well as stock feeds.
A litre of milk in Zimbabwe costs between 45 to 70 cents per litre compared to 35 cents in South Africa and 22 cents in EU countries.
At its peak, the local dairy production reached 150 million litres of milk per year.