Milk output shoots up

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MILK production for the first eight months of 2015 increased compared to last year, figures released by producers show.

Kudzai Kuwaza

According to the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF), milk production recorded an increase this year compared to last year.

In January this year 4,689 million litres of milk were produced compared to 4,586 million litres produced in the same period last year, a 2,24% increase.

In February 4,115 million litres were produced compared to 3,971 million litres in February last year, representing a 3,62% increase. In March 4, 605 million litres of milk were produced compared to 4,510 million litres produced in March 2014, reflecting a 2,10% improvement. In April, milk production increased by a marginal 0,05% when compared to the same period last year with production during the month standing at 4,573 million litres compared 4,571 million litres in April 2014.

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In May, 4,762 million litres of milk was produced compared to 4,604 million litres of milk produced during the same period last year which is 3,43% improvement. In June milk production improved by 7,63% compared to the same period last year with 4,859 million litres of milk produced during the month compared to 4,515 million litres of milk produced during the same period in 2014.

July registered milk production of 4,894 million litres compared to 4,706 million litres produced in the same period last year which is a 4% increase. Last month, 5,066 million litres of milk was produced in comparison to 4,856 million litres during the same period, a 4,33% increase.

The total amount of milk produced during the first eight months of this year is 37,568 million litres of milk according to figures compiled by ZADF. The association revealed that milk production of 55,5 million in 2014 was a marginal 1,5% more than what was produced in 2013.

“It is pleasing to note that total milk production for 2015 was 55,5 million litres, an increase of 1,5% over 2013,” the association said in response to enquiries by businessdigest. “This is in part due to smallholder farmers increasing their production and entering the formal market and a slight increase in the national dairy herd for the first time in six years to approximately 28 000 due to the various industry driven Heifer importation programmes.”

However, the association noted that the dairy industry continues to face challenges to resuscitate milk production and processing capacity. The major challenge includes high costs of production and lack of security which inflates the cost of accessing finance for growth, the association said.

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