'Zim to stop milk imports in 3 years'

GWERU - The Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF) says 85 percent of milk consumed by citizens is imported, a situation that has forced government to come up with a policy to stop milk imports in three years.

ZADF Midlands chairman Emmanuel Zimbandu said in the wake of such disturbing statistics, government will be working on a policy to stop the importation of milk so as to boost local industry.

“It is a sad state of affairs that 85 percent of the milk being consumed in Zimbabwe is being imported despite us having a local industry,” Zimbandu said.

Local milk producers are faced with a daunting task of providing 5 million litres of milk, while the deficit has been filled by foreign firms.

Darry Cotzee, the Dendairy general manager said government’s imposition of a 25 percent levy on imported milk, has since boosted the local sector.

“The support that we have got from government is fantastic because the levy has helped reduce the number of foreign products that were landing on our markets at a cheaper price than local brands. It was a huge concern for us but with the levy, we see more uptake of local products,” said Cotzee.

He added that local producers risked going out of business owing to cheaper imports, but the industry was now poised for growth.

“The other problems that we have been experiencing in the last three months include lumpy skin, but due to the availability of vaccines, the outbreak was contained and the damage was minimised,” Zimbandu said.

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