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Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Seen on Verge of Collapse Following Decade of Land Reform

  • Gibbs Dube
  • Loirdham Moyo

Zimbabwe's national dairy herd is down to just 22,000 cows from 192,000 in 2000 when supporters of President Robert Mugabe started seizing white-owned farms

Zimbabwe's dairy industry has declined to the verge of collapse following a decade of land reform, experts say, with the national dairy herd down to just 22,000 cows from 192,000 in 2000 when supporters of President Robert Mugabe started seizing white-owned farms.

Chairman Wesley Tose Sansole of Parliament's Committee on Industry and Commerce said his panel heard from managers of the state-controlled enterprise Dairibord Zimbabwe that it is being supplied by just 60 dairy farmers compared with 215 providers in 2000.

Deliveries have plunged to 38 million liters a year from 138 million liters of milk 10 years ago.

Sansole told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the industry has suffered because white commercial dairy farms were seized by ZANU-PF militants who failed to maintain milk-production operations.

He also said chronic electric power outages are also hurting the dairy industry.

Meanwhile, some newly resettled commercial tobacco farmers are complaining that they don’t have enough laborers to harvest the current crop.

As correspondent Loirdham Moyo reported, farmers in Nyazura and Rusape, Manicaland province, among other areas, have warned that if tobacco leaves are not picked in time, the quality of the crop could suffer.

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