Zimbabwe’s raw milk production for the six months to June 2016 increased by 15.35% to 31.9 mln litres from 27.6 mln litres same period last year largely on increased production from small scale dairy farmers.
According to latest figures from the Dairy Services Department in the Ministry of Agriculture Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, monthly production is averaging 5.3 mln litres compared to an average 4.5 mln litres per month last year same period.
The statistics show that intake by processors for the period was up 17.10% at 28.3 mln as compared to prior year intake level of 24.1 mln litres.
Milk processors in the country include Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited, Nestle Zimbabwe, Dendairy, Alpha and Omega among other small players.
The dairy industry is currently operating at above 50% capacity with an estimated 223 registered dairy operators and a total dairy herd of about 26 000 animals.
According to the figures, retailed milk increased with a marginal 3.16% to 3.6 mln litres compared to 3.5 mln litres same period last year.
The Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust (ZDIT) which recently held its annual general meeting projected an 8% increase in milk production this year from prior year level largely driven by the decline in imported finished dairy products which strengthened value chain for the industry since 2014.
The total amount of milk produced in 2015 stood at 57.53 million litres compared to 55.479 million litres produced in 2014.
The industry has in the period 2014 to 2016 invested about $ 21.9 mln in new and modern processing plants capable of procuring a wider world class project range.