Zimbabwe’s Dairy Industry Booms as Imports Plummet

How the country is reducing its dependence on foreign dairy products and boosting its local industry

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe’s dairy sector is showing signs of recovery as local production increases and imports decline. According to the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStats), dairy products imports dropped by 26 per cent from 6.5 million kilogrammes in the period January to September 2022 to 4.9 million kilogrammes in the same period this year. The value of imports also decreased by 16 per cent from US$21.6 million to US$18.3 million.

The reduction in imports is partly attributed to the government’s import substitution policy, which aims to encourage local production and reduce dependence on foreign products. In 2016, the government introduced Statutory Instrument 64, which removed some dairy products from the import list. The policy was later revised and relaxed in 2017 and 2018, but it still had a positive impact on the local industry, as capacity utilisation rose by more than 13 per cent within six months of its implementation.

The dairy sector is also benefiting from favourable weather conditions, improved power supply, increased investment, and various interventions by the government and the private sector. The Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan, launched in 2020, seeks to increase the national dairy herd from 19,000 in 2021 to 29,000 in 2022 and to increase the average productivity from 13 to 18 litres per cow per day by 2025. The Transforming Zimbabwe’s Dairy Value Chain for the Future (TranZDVC) project, funded by the European Union, aims to develop functioning milk collection centres into business development units, or dairy hubs, that offer various services and products to farmers.

The dairy sector is also expanding its export market, as some local processors have managed to penetrate regional markets such as Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique. According to the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers (ZADF), the country exported 2.3 million kilogrammes of dairy products worth US$3.7 million in the first nine months of 2023.

However, the sector still faces some challenges, such as high compliance costs, taxation of raw materials, shortage of foreign currency, and competition from cheap imports. The dairy stakeholders have called for the establishment of a one-stop shop where they can access all the necessary licences and permits from various ministries and authorities. They have also requested reduced tariffs for excess powder and raw cheese outside the statutory instrument and for the exemption of spares worth less than US$10,000 from pre-shipping inspections.

Despite these challenges, the sector is optimistic that it will achieve its targets and contribute to the country’s economic growth and food security. The ZADF projects that raw milk production will increase by about 34 per cent from 76.7 to 103 million litres by year-end, and to 150 million litres by 2025. The country needs between 120 and 130 litres of milk per year to meet its domestic demand.

Source: The Herald


You may also like

white logo with motto

The Zimbabwe Advocate is more than just a news outlet. We are a movement, a symbol of resistance against misinformation.

Latest News

© 2024 The Zimbabwe Advocate. All Rights Reserved.