A dairy farm in Bulilima District, Matabeleland South Province produces 3 per cent of the country’s national milk supply, and the milk is considered to be the cleanest in the country.
The farm, Sedgemoor Dairy Farm, is milking 190 cows and producing 3 000 litres of milk every day.
The farm also provides processed goods such as cheese and butter and supplies Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited with milk every two days.
The company’s co-director, Pamela Rauch, said they are expecting to increase milk production next month to 4 000 litres per day as it will be milking 250 cows.
Rauch, who runs the farm with her husband Richard, was speaking on Tuesday, 10 May, at the farm during a field day attended by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water Climate and Rural Development Ministry officials. She said:
We currently are milking 190 cows. This is the lowest time of the year for us, but by the end of June, we will be back to milking 250 cows.
We are currently producing 3 000 litres of milk a day and we will increase to 4 000 litres by the end of June.
With a viable cost of production, we can reach 5000 litres per month.
In 2021, our production dropped severely due to the heavy rains, that were received in January and February and the constant increase in input costs.
Our forecast for 2022 does not look like it will go on an upward trend due to the increase in fuel, stockfeed and fertilisers.
A Dairibord Zimbabwe Limited official told Ministry officials that Sedgemoor was one of the leading dairy farms in the country. Said the official:
If I may tell you, the greatest secret that is here is that the farm here gives us the cleanest milk in the country.
I don’t hesitate to take a glass of milk when I come here because it is very, very clean milk.
This kind of milk helps us to produce quality products that can last long in the market.
Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water Climate and Rural Development chief director Professor Obert Jiri:
We are at a giant farm significantly contributing to national milk production.
Despite the challenges that we heard, that we saw that they have, they are still going on.
So, this is no mean feat. We are the consumers of milk and we must make sure that we contribute to its production.
We need to know the number of dairy farmers in Matabeleland and how we can get a million litres so that the Dairibord plant can run.
Zimbabwe produces 89 million litres of milk annually against the national demand of 120 million litres and spends substantial amounts of forex to bridge the shortfall.