Zimbabwe is targeting to increase annual milk output by 515 percent to 400 million litres in 2020, an official has said.
Last year, the country’s milk output stood at 65 million litres.
Speaking at the just ended 7th Buy Local Summit and Investment Forum in Victoria Falls, Dairibord Zimbabwe marketing director, Ms Tracy Mutaviri, said the projected milk production levels were underpinned by the dairy revitalisation programme.
Recently, the Government launched the dairy sector revamping programme with a view to restore the sector to its former glory.
“Currently, in 2016 we were only talking about 65 million litres of milk down from 256 million litres in 1990. Already, this speaks of growth opportunities in the dairy sector and by 2020 we are targeting to grow milk production to 400 million litres. This means there must be initiatives to grow milk output.
“And the dairy revitalisation programme between Government and different players will help us achieve the 2020 target,” she said, adding that her company since 2006 has been involved in milk development initiatives.
Ms Mutaviri noted that between 1980 and 1990 Zimbabwe’s dairy sector recorded remarkable growth as smallholder farmers during that time played significant role in milk development.
She said the country’s dairy industry presently presents abundance opportunities with capabilities to attract new players in areas such as value added food beverages.
“The number of dairy processors in 1990 were only just about two and currently there are about 13, so the players have increased but milk volumes have not grown.
“National demand is estimated at 120 million so if we are producing 65 million litres, we need to look at how are we filling the gap; there has to be innovation,” she said.
Domestic demand in terms of demand of milk from a consumption point of view, Ms Mutaviri said was at 10 litres per capita compared to 25 litres in 1999.
“The above statistics speaks from what is happening from a nutritional point of view and not just commercial.
The Government is anticipating annual raw milk output to rise underpinned by the continued improvement of the national dairy herd as well as policies such as SI 64/2016, which has several goods among them milk and dairy products from the Open General Import Licence.