Zimbabwe’s milk output down 3% in 7 months to July

By Almot Maqolo

Zimbabwe’s raw milk production in the first seven months to July declined 3 percent to 44.09 million litres compared to 45.53 million litres in the same period last year, latest figures show. According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s dairy services department shows that milk intake by processors was down 3% to 39.89 million litres from 41.32 million litres in the same period in 2019. However, retailed milk by producers remained flat at 4.19 million litres.

The country’s monthly milk requirement stands at 10 million litres. In July this year, raw milk production fell by 3.56% to 6.52 million litres compared from 6.76 million litres in the same month last year. January output at 6.83 million litres is the highest so far followed by July output at 6.52 million litres. However, April output is ranked the lowest at 6.01 million litres – largely attributed to water shortages.

According to the 2020 First Round Crop and Livestock Assessment Report, dairy herd stands at 38 000, of which 12 000 are in milk production, producing an average of 14 litres per day per cow. Milk production in the country has since been on a steady increase since 2009. The dairy sector in Zimbabwe still faces several obstacles such as high cost of production, inefficient production systems and unavailability of long-term funding. In addition, factors such as shortage of water and stock feeds as well as erratic rains also impact negatively on production.

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