Government seeks partnership for dairy production

The government is looking for a professional partnership to boost the milk value chain in the Beira and Dondo dairy basinin Sofala province.

The idea, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER), is to revitalize the production of this food and its derivatives based on the operationalization of the milk and dairy products factory located in the city of Beira.

In 2013, the government acquired the old margarine factory premises in Beira with the aim of transforming it into a milk and dairy factory, as a strategy for the expansion and sustainability of dairy production in the cities of Beira and Dondo, in an investment estimated at more than 50 million meticais.

In this context, MADER intends to hire new professional management for the plant, in order to boost the milk value chain in the entire Beira-Dondo dairy basin.

MADER considers milk production to be one of the biggest weaknesses of the livestock sub-sector in Mozambique.

At present, and with relative importance, there is an old nucleus of semi-commercial producers in the city of Beira and four cooperatives of family sector milk producers in Manica province, established in the last seven years by the project of Land O ́Lakes, an American non-governmental organization.

The production of these nuclei is still too small to meet the needs of national consumption, and the production systems are of very low productivity. The average daily production per cow is five liters and the percentage of lactating animals is below 50 percent.

To reverse the scenario, authorities argue that programs to increase milk production should, in parallel, promote the intensification of existing systems and foster dairy animals to new stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the lack of dairy animals,Ødeficient technical knowledge of producers and other stakeholders, poor financial capacity to improve production conditions, such as facilities, irrigation systems, milking and product preservation, are considered as constraints to the development of the milk value chain in an intensive manner.

In addition, there are difficulties in obtaining by-products for animal feed at acceptable prices; Øhigh incidence of diseases, particularly zoonoses tuberculosis and brucellosis. There is also poor integration of production with processing and marketing.

This situation can only be reverted with the intensification of the dairy cattle production system based on the training of breeders and their technicians in cattle management; implementation of a crossbreeding program to breed dairy cattle, that is, animals that are more adapted and produce milk, among other indispensable activities.

Available data indicate that due to the shortage of milk processing plants, Mozambique was spending, until a few years ago, more than $200 million a year on imported dairy products.

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