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Mat’land dairy sector to recover


THE Matabeleland dairy industry is set for recovering this year following an ongoing restocking exercise with officials predicting milk production to reach at least 252 000 litres by December.


The bright prospects for the industry follow a $500 000 restocking deal struck last year by the Zimbabwe Diary Farmers’ Association (ZDFA) and a United States-based financier Landlackes for Matabeleland farmers.

ZDFA Matabeleland chapter president Benedict Moyo said the restocking exercise, which saw the distribution of 300 cows in the region, would see milk production improving by year-end provided the project was successfully implemented.

“The dairy industry in the region is set for recovery this year with the ongoing restocking exercise,” said Moyo.

The dairy herd has been decimated in the past few years due to a myriad of problems bedevilling the sector, including drought and lack of local funds to restock.

The first phase of the restocking exercise, which is being financed through a revolving fund, involved the distribution of 26 cows, estimated to each cost $1 500.

According to part of the arrangement of the $500 000 fund, farmers are expected to pay back for the cows within a period of three years with no interest charged.

Zanu PF’s land reform programme saw milk production in the country dropping from 21 million litres per month to 4,2 million litres.

The cash-strapped government has been struggling since 2000 to finance the recapitalisation of the dairy industry.

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