Consumer advocacy groups have expressed concerns about potential milk shortages in Bulawayo, the second-largest city in the nation, since several retail stores have since run out of the product.
According to a NewsDay survey conducted yesterday at retail locations in Bulawayo, some stores were out of stock.
Big retail stores, excluding OK and Greens supermarkets, did not have the 300 ml and 500 ml fresh milk products.
In Harare, milk products were, however, readily available on shelves.
Comfort Muchekeza, a regional officer for the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, confirmed that there were shortages of both fresh milk and pasteurized fresh milk in the area. He is quoted as saying:
This has been happening for some time and the shortages are not only on milk products but other products as well. Consumers are now being short-changed in the sense that consumers have rights to access products.
The consumer law of demand says that demand in a product means increases in prices as well.
We would like to urge wholesalers to ensure that milk products are brought back to the market.
Effie Ncube, an advocacy and campaign adviser for the National Consumer Rights Association, claimed that Zimbabwe’s lack of dairy cows had caused a milk crisis. He warned that this could lead to an increase in milk prices.
The southern African nation has a milk annual national demand of at least 130 million litres.