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Midlands Give Back Land to White Dairy Farmers


GWERU- The new Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs, Owen ‘Mudha’ Ncube, has promised to give back land to all productive dairy farmers in the Province as a way of boosting the country’s dairy production.

By Delicious Mathuthu

Ncube made the remarks while addressing heads of all local authorities in the Midlands at the Gweru Government Complex Governor’s Boardroom on Wednesday.

“The land reform programme will be pursued with production and developmental policies. Our thrust on the land reform will identify those dairy farmers which were left with 10 hectares to see what I can do as the new Governor (Minister of State) for Midlands Province even if it needs giving back their farms I will do so within my powers,” Ncube said.

He called for end to multiple farm ownership in the Province saying there is need to identify productive dairy farmers for support, “The issue of multiple farm owners will be pursued… there will be need to identify and relocate former dairy farms in order to increase dairy production.”

Meanwhile, Ncube said he is prepared to work with communities to ensure the vision of the new government is achieved, monitor and evaluate government projects to their success.

Despite President Emmerson Mnangagwa making it clear that there was no going back on the issue of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme, dairy farmers seem to be a sacred group, as Minister Ncube said.

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Some media reports state that the dairy industry in Zimbabwe, like other industries has not been spared from the effects of the deteriorating economic situation in the past two decades.

The reports say demand for milk however, still exceeds local supply and this has resulted in companies importing milk and milk products to supplement demand.

According to Ncube, Mnangagwa is working on a target based policy and is targeted dairy farmers with limited land but having the potential to expand. These Ncube said will be re-allocated their land to boost the country’s dairy sector which has of late struggled to satisfy the local demand.

Dr. Chrispen Sukume and Ms. Debra Maleni in the 2001 report on Zimbabwe Agricultural Competitiveness Program, since 2007 dairy product imports rose at an unprecedented rate from just US$2.8 million to US$47 million in 2011.

“The highest increases were in the import of milk and cream products which rose from US$2.6 million to US$ 41 million over the same period.

“South Africa has been the main source of imports supplying over 90% of dairy products followed by Zambia,” said Sukume and Maleni.

The report further noted that Zimbabwe could be a dumping ground for excess products with the average price of milk imported into the country.

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“The average landed price for milk was about US$1.03 and retailing in major supermarkets at between US$1.35 and US$1.50 per litre.

“In South Africa full cream long life milk retailed at average prices of R10.99 in rural markets and R9.42 in urban markets during April 2011. This translates to US$1.64 and US$1.40 per litre in rural and urban South African markets, respectively, based on the prevailing exchange rates at the time,” noted the report.

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