EU program for heifers to boost dairy products
Talent Bope recently in MHONDORO
The European Union has donated 500 calf heifers and € 7 million to small and medium-sized dairy farmers to stimulate milk production in the country.
The calf heifers program will be implemented in all rural provinces and has so far seen 121 farmers, including 59 women, benefit from it.
The € 7 million, of which 90 percent was funded by the EU and the balance came from We Effect Zimbabwe, will strengthen the links between production, processing and finance.
It comes after the number and contribution of smallholder dairy farmers has increased dramatically and is part of a growing effort to rapidly expand the dairy herd so Zimbabwe can be self-sufficient in the dairy sector.
The program, which is part of Transforming Zimbabwe’s Dairy Value Chain for the Future, a national dairy project under Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Growth Program, is expected to increase milk production to meet the target of 130 million liters , against 76 million produced last year.
The Transformation Project is an EU-funded four-year initiative supported by We Effect in partnership with the Zimbabwe Dairy Farmers Association, the Zimbabwe Farmers Union and the Zimbabwe Dairy Industry Trust.
In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Minister Vangelis Heritatos, during the ceremony of handing over heifers to calves in Mhondoro yesterday, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Colonization rural, Dr Anxious Masuka, said the development was the result of the government proposing various dairy revitalization programs, including Zimbabwe’s agricultural growth program.
“The action contributes to the achievement of the expected results of Zimbabwe’s Agricultural Growth Program, in particular increased production and productivity of the livestock sector and increased public and private investment in agricultural chains. targeted breeding value, ”said Dr. Masuka.
Under the 11th European Development Fund, the EU and the Government of Zimbabwe through ZAGP, with a budget of 40 million euros, have the overall objective of contributing to the development of a diverse and efficient agricultural sector that promotes green economic growth. “
Dr Masuka commended the EU for developing a blueprint to address a myriad of challenges facing the dairy sector through funding.
“I would like to congratulate the European Union and the partners of the Dairy Consortium for sponsoring and facilitating the import of 500 calf dairy products in this project for the empowerment of small dairy farmers in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“These 500 calf heifers from the project are paired up individually. I believe this dairy development project was organized at the right time when the government is promoting the revitalization of the dairy sector through various growth initiatives as a strategy to improve the quantity and quality of milk.
Dr Masuka said the government recognizes and appreciates the initiatives and efforts of local dairy sector stakeholders who have seen steady growth in milk production from 36 million tonnes in 2009 to 76 million liters in 2020 and are targeted for further growth.
Dr Masuka said the initiative was in line with the national program “The government’s national development program implements national strategies to transform the livestock sector, including the Livestock Growth Plan, the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy and the national development strategy ”. Dr Masuka said.
TranZDVC project coordinator Dr Edson Chifamba said the goal of the project is to improve productivity through smart and environmentally friendly milk production.
“The project aims to improve the economic performance of the dairy value chain through inclusive business models, DVC social performance through a matching grant mechanism and the use of climate-smart dairy production as well. than the use of renewable energies, ”said Mr. Chifamba.
Stakeholders from dairy farming attended the ceremony.