Dairy producers say able to meet local demand

Dairy producers say able to meet local demand

HARARE, July 21 (The Source) – Zimbabwean dairy farmers say they have the capacity to meet the country’s dairy requirements and that a ban on the importation of finished dairy products will not result in any shortages.

Government last month gazetted Statutory Instrument 64 which outlawed the importation of an array of basic commodities including finished dairy products. The move has been widely criticized sparking demonstrations and the burning down of a government warehouse in Beitbridge a border town leading into South Africa.

Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust chairman Tatenda Napata on Wednesday said the local industry have the capacity to meet the country’s dairy requirements.

Last year milk production reached 58 million litres out of an estimated demand of 120 million litres.

“We want to assure the nation that we will able to meet the requirements of the nation and that there will not be any shortages of dairy products on the market due to the recently introduced restrictions,” said Napata.

“As an industry that is still rebuilding there is need for government’s continued support by insuring that the local industry is not disadvantaged by established foreign dairies. Measures introduced by government restrictions are a welcome development. This will go a long way in revitalizing the industry through increased capacity utilization.”

Napata said the industry had witnessed gradual growth, receiving investment to the tune of $22 million in processing plants and machinery between year 2014 and 2016.

He added that indications were pointing towards an eight percent increase in production this year.

The industry has a production target of 100 million litres annually by 2019.