SMALLHOLDER DAIRYING ZIMBABWE
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CTA. 1996. SMALLHOLDER DAIRYING ZIMBABWE. Spore 61. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47229
The dairy sector in Zimbabwe consists of two strongly contrasting categories of producers: the large-scale commercial producers with an average milking herd in excess of 100 cows using modern technology to achieve high output per cow; and the...
The dairy sector in Zimbabwe consists of two strongly contrasting categories of producers: the large-scale commercial producers with an average milking herd in excess of 100 cows using modern technology to achieve high output per cow; and the smallholder dairy producer with an average of less than five cows using more traditional methods of production that result in low output. The major part of commercial milk supplies comes from some 500 large dairy farmers while the smallholders produce primarily for family consumption and to a lesser extent for sale within their community. To redress this imbalance, the Government set up the Dairy Development Programme (DDP) in 1983 with a mandate to promote smallholder dairy development throughout the country. To-date the DDP has established 10 smallholder dairy projects, one of which is Nharira Dairy Association (NDA) smallholder project 170 kilometres south of Harare, the capital city and the main milk catchment, processing and distribution area in the country. It is the same distance from Gweru, the second largest milk intake after Harare and is therefore distant from major milk processing and distribution centres. The NDA was initiated by the farmers themselves after consultation with DDP staff. The typical communal producer farms an average of three hectares and has two or three milking cows while the small-scale commercial farmers average 15-50 hectares and 10 cows. About 25% of NDA members deliver milk to the centre. Although women comprise only 30% of the membership, there are more active women producers than men in the communal areas. Three products are currently sold by the NDA: fresh milk (34%) naturally soured milk (40%) and cultured milk (24%). To enable the smallholder dairy associations to market milk, changes had to be made to the Dairy Services licensing system to accommodate smallholder dairy groups as one producer-retailer. Milk products are sold to vendors, who are paid on commission, to bulk buyers, or as retail sales from centres. In the case of Nharira Milk Centre all the milk is sold locally (50km-radius) to schools, clinics, hospitals, the district prison and rural business centres. According to NDA members, cultured milk is seen as having the greatest long-term potential and there are plans to add more boilers and another packaging machine to meet the current and anticipated demand. The impact of cooperative development, which has not been viewed favourably in Zimbabwe in the past, is beginning to be appreciated in Nharira largely because of the DDP. The creation of strong farmer institutions, working with relevant government and non-government institutions is beginning to positively influence development priorities in the NDA area.