Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Nestle invests $14,3m in dairy empowerment scheme

Nestle invests $14,3m in dairy empowerment scheme

Oliver Kazunga recently in Mutare
NESTLE Zimbabwe says it has so far invested $14,3 million in its dairy empowerment scheme — Nestlé Dairy Empowerment Scheme (NDES), which is aimed at increasing milk output and reducing production costs. The programme was launched in 2011 to assist farmers contracted to supply raw milk to the firm’s factory to rebuild their herds. Nestlé Zimbabwe corporate affairs manager Mr Farai Munetsi told delegates at the just ended Buy Zimbabwe annual summit in Mutare that the investment is also aimed at reducing the importation of milk while capacitating local farmers.

“We’ve invested $14,3 million in the NDES. The programme was launched in 2011 and we’re looking at importing 4,000 dairy cows of which 2,000 will be given to small and medium scale commercial farmers in different parts of the country to produce milk on our behalf,” he said.

He said his company has so far given the farmers 1,200 dairy cows since the launch of the NDES. “Under the programme, we’ve trained the farmers on milk production. This year we’ve told them (for example farmers in Chitomborwizi) to grow farm stockfeed,” he said.

“We’re encouraging the farmers to grow the silage which is the major element in the cost of milk production and by doing this; farmers will be able to reduce the cost of producing milk by about 15 percent.”

Mr Munetsi said last year Nestlé Zimbabwe decided to invest in the farming sector or its total value chain as part of efforts to increase production through assisting the farmer to boost the company’s factory capacity.

He added that his organisation was challenging the Government to promote the growth of maize as the crop is a low hanging fruit. Since 2011, he said Nestlé Zimbabwe has invested over $30 million on upgrading the cereal and dairy plants. “We also have the dairy and cremora plant which has increased capacity and right now we can meet local demand,” said Mr Munetsi.

He commended the Government for promulgating Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which removes several goods including dairy and cereal products from the Open General Import Licence saying the move would boost local industry capacity as well as creating jobs.

Nestlé Zimbabwe embarked on the NDES to revive the country’s dairy industry after annual milk production dropped from a peak of 260 million litres in 1992 to 38 million litres in 2008. Mr Munetsi said Zimbabwe’s milk output last year stood at 58 million litres. The milking herd also reduced in the same period from 200,000 to 28,000.


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