MILK production for the first four months of 2016 increased compared to the same period last year, businessdigest has learnt.
By Kudzai Kuwaza
According to figures compiled by the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF), there was an upturn in production as well as in milk sold by producers in each of the first four months.
In January, a total of 5,516 million litres was produced compared to 4,689 million litres produced in the same period last year. This represents an increase of 17,63%. The total production figure for February was 5,038 million litres compared to 4,115 million litres in February last year, representing a 22, 43% increase.
Total milk production in March was 5,378 million litres compared to 4,605 million litres produced during the same period last year, representing an upturn of 16,78% In April, a total of 5,280 million litres were produced in comparison to 4,573 million litres produced in April 2015, a 15,44% increase.
The total amount of milk produced in the first four months of this year was 21,213 million litres.
The milk sold by producers in the first four months of 2016 also shot up compared to the same period in 2015. A total of 642,632 thousand litres was retailed in January compared to January 2015 when 535,552 thousand litres were sold. This represented an increase of 20%. In February 628,914 litres of milk were sold compared to 485,014 thousand litres purchased during the same period last year. This was an increase of 30%.
The overall amount of milk sold in March by producers was 583,617 thousand litres compared to 574,194 litres purchased in the same period in 2015 representing a marginal increase of about 2%.
A total of 619,903 thousand litres of milk were bought in April compared to 607,048 thousand litres sold in April 2015. This was a marginal increase of 2,12%.
Production levels have dramatically plummeted from the early 1990s peak of 260 million litres per year to between 50 million and 65 million litres currently, as the industry struggles to recover from the devastating impact of the chaotic land reform programme and economic turmoil.