Opinion & Columnist

Looking Back: Nkomo opens milk receiving centre for communal farmers

The late Dr Joshua Nkomo

The Herald, 29 September 1990

VICE President Joshua Nkomo yesterday opened a $68 000 milk centre for farmers of Nharira communal and Lancashire small-scale commercial farming areas in Chivhu.

The centre is a receiving centre for milk produced by dairy farmers in the two areas. After receiving the milk, the centre processes and markets it on behalf of a group of 110 farmers within the area.

It is the first such project stream, combining both small-scale and communal farmers. Milk deliveries started at the centre in May this year. The initial research on the project was conducted in 1986.

Of the 110 members of the project, only seven are at the moment producers.

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Among them, seven producers have 87 milking cows.

The milk centre handles 7 000 litres a month. The farmers who organised themselves into a committee to run the affairs of the centre, are now also being assisted by the Agriculture Development Authority as part of the parastatal’s dairy development programme.

Because of the high production and demand, emphasis is being placed on the local market using vendors in addition to direct sales to institutions. The farmers hope that with increased production through more of their members acquiring dairy cows, the milk delivered at the centre could be sold to markets in the urban areas once local demand had been met.

Delivering his speech, Cde Nkomo said within the next few weeks the Government would initiate a completely new method of resettling people as part of its stated land distribution programme.

LESSONS FOR TODAY

Future interventions in the dairy sector should consequently be market or demand-driven in order to promote the general economic development thrust.

Development of the dairy sector is an efficient tool as it generates a continuous flow of income, diversifies risk, improves utilisation of resources, and generates employment also outside the farming community because of the need for collection, transportation, processing and marketing.

For potential milk yields to be realised, all production constraints and their individual effects on milk production must be identified.

An efficient and effective input supply system and improved access for services is crucial for improved dairy development.

HERALD

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