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CZI: Zimbabwe's Manicaland Province Facing Milk Shortages

Milk shortages looming in Zimbabwe's Manicaland Province as dairy production costs skyrocket.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) in Manicaland Province says the dairy industry in the region may not be able to provide fresh milk to keep up with demand.

Manicaland regional president Charles Tavazadza told VOA Studio 7 that the number of milk producers in the province is down from 33 farmers to a mere 11.

Mr. Tavazadza said the drop in the number of dairy operations is due to many factors, including a lack of money to keep the farms running and the lack of training in current dairy operations and management.

The result, he said, is a likely milk shortage in the near future. The CZI has been told that the reduced supply will lead to the probable closure of the Mutare Dairy Depot, a key first customer for both commercial and small-scale dairy farmers in the province.

The likely closure of the depot was confirmed by an employee at the firm, who requested to remain anonymous as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The worker said the milk volumes the depot receives has drastically fallen to levels too low to sustain operations. Efforts to get an official comment from Dairyboard management at Mutare Dairy Depot were unsuccessful.

Tavazadza noted that the dairy industry is important as it supports other sectors of the economy.

Petros Maunga is a small-scale dairy farmer based in Watsomba, about 40km north east of Mutare.

Maunga said running a dairy project is costly for upcoming farmers.
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Meanwhile, more than 50 of Zanu PF supporters, most of them veterans of the 1970s liberation struggle, over the weekend invaded Gutu Rural District Council land designated for sporting facilities.

The invaders argued that they do not have space to plant seeds donated to them by President Robert Mugabe under the Presidential Well-Wishers Input Scheme at the beginning of the current rainy season.

The group, led by Muzorodzi Makwashe, said they invaded the property, which had a football, volleyball and basketball pitches and other sporting facilities because they want to utilize it for farming purposes.
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