Food and beverages concern Nestlé Zimbabwe says it will continue its support to small scale dairy farmers for steady supplies of milk for production.
In 2011, the firm launched the Nestlé Dairy Empowerment Scheme (NDES) targeting commercial farmers.
It was expanded in 2015 to small scale farmers around a commercial farmer for knowledge transfer.
Under the hub and scope model, three hubs have been created in Chitomborwizi, Watershed and Marondera.
“As Nestlé Zimbabwe, we are proud that through these initiatives, we receive the right quality of milk and build a steady supply of raw milk for our production. At the same time, we can support dairy farmers make changes enhance their incomes now and build and prosperous future for the generation of farmers,” the food and beverages concern said.
Nestlé Zimbabwe supports small scale farmers through establishment of milk collection centres by giving cooling tanks, solar powered boreholes to address water challenges for irrigation and pasture and silage support to reduce commercial feed requirements. Feed constitutes about 75% on the cost of production per litre of milk.
Saint-Francis Tohlang, Nestlé ESAR Corporate Communications and Public Affairs director, said prior to the onset of NDES, farmers faced challenges such as lack of technical support, low dairy herd, poor feeding, water challenges and lack of support on milk collection centres.
“Dairy farmers still face challenges today, some of which have been worsened by the onset of Covid-19, however through concerted efforts under the scheme, we are making steady progress despite additional challenges brought about by Covid-19,” Tohlang said.
Statistics obtained from Nestlé Zimbabwe showed that milk output at Watershed had grown to 11,000 litres by December from about 2,500 litres per month in May.