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Raw milk production up 3.77% in ten months to October

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Raw milk production up 3.77% in ten months to October

HARARE – The country continued to record marginal increases in raw milk supplies after the latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture showed that production for ten months to October grew 3.77% to 54.26 million litres. This is against 52.28 million litres produced last year.

According to the Ministry, producers are constantly increasing output to meet local demand to make up for the space created after Government controlled the importation of dairy products.

Due to increased demand, the sector has to date imported over 400 heifers to boost production while the heifer importation schemes from prior years is now contributing to production. As a result, monthly production is averaging 5.4 million litres compared to an average 4.8 million litres per month last year.

The figures show that intake by processors for the period went up 6.24% at 48.7 mln litres compared to prior year intake of 45.840mln litres. Retailed milk declined 6.24% to 5.7 mln litres compared to 6.44 mln litres last year same period.

Milk production in 2016 is projected to grow 8% this year from 57.53 million litres largely on investments done in the period 2014 to 2016. The sector has made investments amounting to about  $21.9 million,  majority of which was channeled towards  new  and modern  processing plants capable of procuring a wider world class project range.

The dairy industry is now operating at above 60% capacity with an estimated 223 registered dairy operators and a total dairy herd of about 26 000 animals.

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