Zimbabwe’s milk production has been on the rise in recent years, thanks to a government-led effort to boost local production.
Data from the government shows that the supply of raw milk in the country increased by 4% from 79.6 million liters in 2021 to 83 million liters this year. However, Zimbabwe still imports 48% of its milk demand, primarily from South Africa under a duty-free quota system.
In an effort to reduce the country’s reliance on imports, the government has implemented a five-year dairy sector development plan with a goal of increasing annual production to 150 million liters by 2025.
To achieve this, the government is working to increase the number of dairy cattle in the country from 39,980 to 60,000.
In addition, the government is providing support to the sector through the allocation of resources in the national budget, including loans to small-scale farmers, and through the implementation of programs to strengthen the link between production, processing, and financing in the dairy industry.
The government has also imposed a 5% duty on dairy imports in an effort to protect the local industry from cheap imports.
The dairy sector has also received support from private sector initiatives, such as investments in modern technologies. Experts are calling on smallholder and medium-scale farmers to get involved in dairy farming in order to increase production and meet local demand.