Dairy industry not doing well because of exorbitant inputs

Dairy industry not doing well because of exorbitant inputs
Published: 18 January 2012 (1148 Views)
Expansion of the small-scale dairy sector is hindered by high costs of inputs, leading to low production, an official in the department of livestock production has said.

The provincial dairy specialist, Mr Kululeko Dube, said lack of proper supplementary feeding of the dairy herd and lack of training was weighing the industry down.

“The dairy industry is not doing well at the moment mainly because inputs have become so exorbitant when farmers are struggling to make ends meet.

“Lack of proper feeding of dairy cattle, poor nutritive value  of pastures or forages offered to the animals and lack of   dairy husbandry training as many have not received any formal training

in dairy husbandry, is another challenge to milk producers,” he said.

He also said milk marketing problems and lack of interest by the corporate world to invest in the dairy enterprise was another blow.

Mr Dube said there was a need to protect, promote and develop small holder dairy enterprises as they contributed a great deal to household welfare in terms of food security, income generation and other social services.

“There is need for improvement or modernisation of the existing veterinary services to help them with quality production of milk."

He encouraged farmers to practise cross breeding to increase the amount and quality of milk since the local breeds did not produce enough milk.

"Provision of good quality heifers to small scale dairy farmers will reduce the tendency of them accepting any dairy cattle coming their way as this always results in low productivity."

He said provision of capital or loans to support dairy farmers should be directed towards modernisation of private processing plants and cold rooms at milk collection centres.

"This can be easy if farmers establish cooperative unions through which they can establish milk collection centres and also provide inputs like supplementary feeds, drugs and extension services at affordable costs to its members," he said.

- chronicle

Tags: Dairy,
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