Milk production records slight improvement

10th May 2017
Dairy Farming Source:The Midweek Sun


By Keikantse Lesemela - Reporter

Milk production in the country has shown slight improvement as it has recorded 9.6 percent of the annual demand.
The ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security Tokafatso Maduo report indicates that from April last year to March 2017, over 6.2 million litres of milk were produced compared to 3.7 million litres produced in April 2015 to March 2016. 

“Milk per cow increased from 11.2 litres to 13 litres in 2016/17. However, the productivity is still below the target of 20 litres per cow per day,” states the report.

The national demand for milk is 65 million litres annually.About 58.8 million litres are imported from South Africa at a cost of P2 million. There are approximately 3 700 dairy cattle in the country comprising 940 milking cows, 830 dry cows while the remaining 1 930 are young animals.

The ministry also indicated that cattle mortality has reduced from 12 percent in 2015 to five percent in 2016. Calving percentage also increased from 52 percent in the last financial year to 60 percent in 2016/17.

To help facilitate developing dairy production in the country, government has come up with a seven pillar strategy being: Well Functioning Value Chain and Clusters, Strategic Dairy Farm Areas, Strategic Fodder Production Zones, Appropriate Dairy Support Infrastructure, Availability of Dairy Cattle, Enabling Environment for the Dairy Sector and The Dairy Market Access.

In June 2013, Cabinet approved the Dairy Development Strategy with an objective to transform the dairy sector into a viable, competitive and profitable industry.

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