6% increase in milk production: Basera

By Leafias Mazviro

Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, fisheries, water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary, John Basera said the dairy industry is growing as country produced 39 million litres of milk between January and end of May which shows a 6% increase as compared to the prior year same time.

Dr John Basera commended the program aimed at capacitating farmers on cultivating pastures saying the project “is in line with Vision 2030 and National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1”. He said this during a pastures field tour and technical discussion hosted by Europe Africa Seed Initiatives (EASI) Seeds and Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Famers (ZADF) at EASI Seeds Hatcliffe Estate in Harare recently.

“The dairy industry is going for growth in terms of milk production and output. Same period last year, milk produced was about 35 to 36 million litres but so far this year from January to up to the end of May, the milk produced is about 39 million litres which is about 6% increase,” said Dr Basera.

“The diary sector is really on a good rebound and is responding to the critical touch points as contained in the livestock recovery growth plan where the ministry is supporting all the sub-sectors that is the smallholder dairy farmers, the medium scale farmers, as well as the large scale farmers, “ he added.

ZADF National Chairman, Ernest Muzorewa, urged farmers to seriously consider pasture and fodder production to ensure viability.

This was a partnership between EASI and ZADF to ensure the viability of the dairy sector through empowering farmers to grow own pastures as a measure to reduce costs of production.

Following the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, there is need to improve on the competitiveness of the dairy sector focusing on improving productivity per cow and efficiency at farm level.

“Provision of effective extension systems is needed to improve efficiency and productivity, we are gathered here to learn and exchange ideas on how to feed our animals with cost effective and nutritious feed through pastures.

“Our dairy extension needs to continuously be capacitated with dairy specialized technical knowledge and skills as well as tools of trade especially mobility in order to deliver the much needed service to the farmers,” he added.

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