The Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust has embarked on a milk mapping and baseline survey to explore the Zimbabwe milk production competitiveness requirements and to explore the milk production value chain.
The project is driven by partners Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers, (ZADF), Zimbabwe Farmers Union, (ZFU), We Effect and the Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust, (ZDIT).
The exercise funded by the European Union, (EU), is expected to collate data on how to transform the Zimbabwe dairy industry and production value chain, as part of an integrated 7 million Euro, Zimbabwe Transforming Zimbabwe’s Dairy Value Chain for The Future.
The milk mapping and baseline exercise is also expected to determine where our milk is coming from as in the country, and come up with a baseline and a Monitoring and Evaluation framework, said Mrs. Tendai, C. Marecha, the Chief Dairy Officer.
Mrs. Tendai, C. Marecha, said that Milk Mapping survey is also expected to help the Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust, establish who has the dairy cattle, providers of veterinary, dairy equipment, and also help explore the types of feed the dairy cattle are fed, the quantity of milk produced, right up the dairy value chain.
Mrs. Tendai, C. Marecha, also said that the exercise is expected to explore the financial services providers who are assisting dairy production, processing, value addition, and dairy development in the country.
The survey and baseline is also going to establish the milk production gaps, and suggest interventions that can be used to ensure sustainable and competitive milk production in Zimbabwe, said Mrs. Tendai, C. Marecha.
“Alternatively, the survey a census for the dairy sector in the country as the Trust would be able to ascertain the number of dairy cattle in the country, the number of dairy producers by sex and age and the dairy or beef-dairy combinations we have in the country.
The EU funded project has a second component in which 1 000 dairy pure breeds are going to be introduced into the sector, and 8 000 straws of semen for cross-breeding purposes, said Mrs. Tendai, C. Marecha.
The Zimbabwe Transforming Zimbabwe’s Dairy Value Chain for The Future has a Matching Grant component for financing capital expenditure and infrastructure development from the farm right up to consumption.
The Matching Grants are also going to be accessed by commercial Milk Collection Centres, (MCCs), Small to medium Enterprises and the available funding packages are going to be advertised soon.
The Milk Mapping Survey, has taken a value chain approach to ascertain milk development solutions and strategies which could be aggregation or integration while ascertaining the funding, insurance, training, veterinary, management and technical requirement of the dairy industry in Zimbabwe.
Milk and dairy products are very important for their food security and nutritional health of the population.
Dairy contributes a lot to economic development and livelihoods and the Food and Agriculture Organization, (FAO), estimates that “around 150 million households (750 million people) are engaged in milk production around the world.”
“For every additional 1,000 litres of milk produced daily, 110 jobs are created with 34 of these being off farm jobs “, according to FAO.
At household level, income from milk contributes to poverty reduction in rural areas, as milk sales from milk collection centers has evidently created income for education and basic necessities for smallholder farmers. The Milk Mapping and baseline exercise is expected to describe the market systems involving small-scale producers: the value chain, together with support services and the business environment affecting the chain.