Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Dairy herd count drops to 22 000

Dairy herd count drops to 22,000

Written by Lovejoy Sakala
Friday, 14 January 2011 09:45

CHIPINGE – Milk supplies here have dwindled as dairy farmers who use to
supply the nation said the country`s dairy herd was down to less than 22,000
cows from 192,000 in 2000.
Farmers said the low herd count had resulted in a drastic reduction in milk
production. All this is as a result of the controversial 2000 land grab by
the former Zanu (PF) government.
Martin Dutchse, a farmer in Chipinge, told The Zimbabwean that the situation
had been slow to recover because most of the cattle died due to lack of
expertise by new farmers.
“Some of the dairy cows were forcibly taken from commercial farmers and sold
for consumption purposes as resettled farmers did not have enough food in
their fields to feed their families,” said Dutchse.
Another farmer, Thomas Kilmer, said most commercial farmers had abandoned
dairy farming and focused on other projects such as horticulture. Kilmer
said there was need for massive capital injection to resuscitate the dairy
farming sector to pre-1999 levels.
“The government will have to invest heavily in training and restocking the
dairy herd. We used to supply Dairibord Zimbabwe with tonnes of milk, but
how many of us have stopped across the country?” said Kilmer, who was forced
to stop dairy farming as a result of “disturbances” by war veterans and
youths militias.
Zimbabwe`s retail outlet shelves are full of imported milk from South


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