To achieve this, the project is targeting 4,000 small-scale dairy farmers that are currently unable to participate in organised marketing of milk. Zimbabwe’s dairy herd of 123,000 cows in 1990, at one point, produced more than 260 million litres of milk annually, but production declined over the years, with an estimated 39,000 dairy cows left. The annual demand for milk currently stands at 120 million litres and there is a deficit of 45 million litres.
Mudiwa Mupfanochiya, one of the farmers who received 10 heifers is involved in dairy production at Ponderossa Farm in Umzimgwane district in Matabeleland South province, is already looking forward to increased milk production.
“I applied for five heifers through this facility and received an additional five heifers from the project through Dendairy. This is major step in improving milk production at Panderossa Farm. I currently have 30 milking cows and producing 150 to 200 litres of milk per day using a low input and low output system”’ said Mudiwa. He is seeking to boost milk production to 15 litres per cow per day.
Speaking earlier in May during another heifer hand-over ceremony at Dendairy Farm in Kwekwe, in Midlands province recently, TranZDVC project coordinator, Dr Edson Chifamba said: “We also have a heifer facility where we are buying 500 in-calf heifers that we’ll distribute to farmers on a one-to-one match. Buy one and get one. This will result in a herd increase of 1,000 dairy cows”.