Nestlé Zimbabwe says it has bought 200 dairy cows from South Africa in a US$14 million investment program aimed at reviving the country’s battered dairy industry.
Reports said the company’s commercial dairy development program will buy and distribute 2,000 cows in the next seven years to contracted farmers. This is expected to boost its contracted production from 3.5 million to a 25 million liters of milk.
The Daily News paper quotes Nestlé Zimbabwe Chief Executive Kumbirai Katsande as saying that 40,000 dairy cows in Zimbabwe are currently producing 50 million liters of milk a year while at least 100 million liters are needed to meet demand.
“In addition to the commercial dairy development program Nestlé will soon launch an ambitious nationwide dairy scheme targeted at small-scale farmers,” Katsande said.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Seiso Moyo said Nestlé Zimbabwe should be commended for committing funds to the dairy sector. “We hope that other corporations will engage in such programs in order to boost milk production in the country,” Moyo said.
Legislator Moses Jiri, chairman of Parliament's committee on agriculture, said private firms contracting with small-scale farmers in such programs should ensure that the farmers are fully trained to properly care for dairy cows.