19 February 2018

Zambia: 'Dairy Sector Can Drive GDP'

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources has observed that dairy farming is capable of becoming one of the main contributors to Zambia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Committee chairperson Mexas Ng'onga said the sector is capable of becoming the number one contributor of GDP with all stakeholders coming on board to ensure farmers invest in dairy farming.

Mr N'gonga called on Government to improve the dairy industry particularly in Namwala as it was capable of contributing to the country's GDP.

"We need to start investing resources in dairy farming on a large scale, this will not only uplift the living standards of the local people but will also contribute to our GDP," he said.

Mr N'gonga was speaking in Namwala District, Southern Province after hearing successful stories from farmers who have diversified into dairy farming.

It came to light that majority of farmers in the area kept animals for prestige status without selling the milk which they disposed off due to not knowing the purposes of dairy farming.

However, Musika Zambia Limited and other partners came in by sensitising the community on dairy farming.

Following this sensitisation, milk collection centres were created with small scale farmers sell the milk to Parmalat Zambia.

Namwala District has the highest population of cattle in the entire province compared to the population of the people.

And Musika Zambia Limited Managing Director Reuben Banda said his organisation has created some milk collection centres and provided the infrastructure where the commodity was stored after being received from the farmers.

Mr Banda said a number of farmers have been transformed from just keeping animals for prestige purposes to dairy farming.

He said the role of his organisation was to work with the private sector to develop a business model to help benefit the small scale farmers.

"We have introduced dairy farming in areas that were not traditionally known for that and farmers are investing in dairy farming and the health of their animals," he said.

He said there was need for Government to set up laboratory services which were currently a challenge in the country.

Mungaila Dairy Cooperative Society representative Price Matenda said dairy farming had transformed the lives of the farmers in the area.

Mr Matenda thanked Musika for embarking on such a project as farmers were able to get more than K6,000 per month from the sale of milk.


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