Government in new plan to increase milk production

AGRICULTURE minister Anxious Masuka says the country is looking forward to improved milk production under the European Union (EU)-funded Transforming Zimbabwe’s Dairy Value Chain (TranZDVC) programme.

This comes as the country has witnessed a four percent drop in milk production over the past year.

Speaking at the launch of a Dairy Database and Strategic Plan hosted by We Effect on Thursday, Masuka, in a speech read on his behalf by a deputy director in the ministry, Alban Mhindurwa, said the database will assist stakeholders in formulating policies premised on scientific-based information.

“The Dairy Sector Performance Monitoring Database and Strategic Plan (2021-2025) will allow us to prioritise efforts, effectively allocate resources, align shareholders and employees on the dairy sub-sector’s goals, and ensure those goals are backed by timely and accurate data.

“The challenges can be overcome if the government, farmers, development community and the dairy processing industry work together in growing the dairy sector. The government therefore recognises that a sub-sector strategic plan is critical for the growth of any sector,” Masuka said.

The dairy sector performance monitoring database is an information system developed to improve information gathering and reports generation in the industry.

“Collection, storage, access and reporting of all dairy sector information will be available on this site.

“The development of the dairy database is part of the initiative to develop an Agriculture Information Management System (Aims), which provides policy makers, planners and economic player’s access to reliable and timely information necessary for policy development, emergency preparedness, planning and decision making in the context of programme management. 

“This initiative is in conformity with the government’s e-governance initiative under the National Development Strategy 1 of delivering transparent, timely services to farmers and dairy value chain players,” Masuka said.

The project is being coordinated by We Effect together with other implementing partners, the Zimbabwe Farmers Union, Zimbabwe Association Dairy Trust, Zimbabwe Milk Industry Trust and the Agriculture ministry.

“The coming on board of the Agriculture Finance Corporation will enable the capacitation of the dairy farming sector which has been facing challenges of accessing long term capital from financial institutions.

“Low productivity due to poor genetics, costly and inaccessible animal feeds, low competitiveness are challenges that can be overcome if the government, farmers, development community and the dairy industry work together in growing the dairy sector,” he said.

Melisa Chatikobo

Staff Writer