By Faith Chimutsa
Dairy production is aligned with government key development blueprint which include the National Development Strategy 1,the Agricultural Food Systems Transformation Strategy and the Livestock Development Implementation Strategy which contributes to the economic growth and resolving the security of land tenure in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at Mafuro dairy field day in Mashonaland East, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Hon Apollonia Munzverengwi said in agriculture, it is fundamental to project economic growth, adoption of climate smart strategies and resolving of security land tenure which contribute to the vision.
The National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) is facilitating access to affordable agricultural financing through various strategies which are establishing a land bank, strengthening the use of private public partnerships (PPPs) as well as reviewing the contract farming and agricultural marketing frameworks to cover all crops and livestock.
“We are gathered here today to witness fruits of one such partnership where Mafuro Safari, Prodairy and AFC Holdings have invested in this efficient, cost-effective and profitable agribusiness venture,” said Munzverengwi.
The national milk production in Zimbabwe is under 80 million litres per year and Mash East is contributing significantly to this volume.
Contributors to the province’s milk production range from large, medium and small scale dairy enterprises operating in farms and communal areas surrounding eight functional milk collection centres and aggregation points.
Mafuro farming project has a total herd of 1.099, milking 628 animals which are producing an average of 19.3 litres per cow per day translating into more than 360.000 litres per month.
The project is implementing a precision farming system, optimizing inputs to enhance yield and quality of output . This system and technology have allowed Mafuro to make more timely and informed decisions, resulting in improved productivity and profitability.
“The dairy models in our province like the one demonstrated here at Mafuro are evidence that if appropriate support is rendered, dairy farmers can produce the anticipated high volumes of raw milk required to cover the gap between national demand and current supply,” said Munzverengwi.
She added,”We have various dairy value chain stakeholders who are working together with the small scale dairy farmers in Marondera district and the rest of the province these include financial institutions, stockfeed manufacturers, veterinary drug suppliers, Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers, Local Veterinary, Agritex, development partners and the success we are witnessing here is a result of unified efforts”.
Dairy production and development, support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal number 2(SDG2) which seeks to, “end hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”. This is in line with the Government’s Vision which targets to achieve an empowered and prosperous upper middle income society by 2030.
Government is implementing the devolution agenda which is seeing provinces leverage on their various economic opportunities to contribute towards national development. Mashonaland East Province is endowed with resources that could help develop the economy as it boasts several investment opportunities and is open for business .
The major economic activity in Mash East Province is agriculture with main focus on crops and livestock production.
“The dairy farming practices at Mafuro farm should be emulated by other farmers across the country. Together as a nation we will focus on building our nation as we seek to attain middle income status by 2030,” she said.