24 December 2012

Zambia: Govt to Invest K3 Billion in Dairy Equipment

GOVERNMENT will next year invest more than K3 billion in buying dairy equipment for small scale dairy farmers across the country.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock director in charge of livestock Benson Mwenya said the money would come from the 2013 Budget.

He said the move was aimed at growing the sector to increase its contribution to the national economy.

Speaking in Lusaka during his presentation at the national annual Dairy Forum, Dr Mwenya said only about 15 per cent of the country's dairy potential was tapped leaving room for increased investment and expansion of the sector.

"Come next year the ministry will carry out a lot of projects all aimed at boosting the agriculture sector, one particular one is where K3 billion will be spent on buying of equipment for small-scale farmers across the country through their respectable cooperatives and milk collection centres," he said.

Dr Mwenya said that the Government realises the importance of the agriculture sub-sectors hence the move to establish and create a lot more milk collection centres in the country.

He, however, said that the Zambian milk has still remained uncompetitive on the regional market in terms of pricing.

He pointed out that despite not being attractive on the regional market, Zambian milk was more competitive in quality because of it having low bacterial count.

"Zambia's low price competitiveness of milk can be explained by various factors, one of the main reasons is the high cost of feed which accounts for more than 50 per cent of the total production cost," Dr Mwenya said.

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