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Zambian government to buy new dairy equipment in 2013

FBR Staff Writer Published 26 December 2012

The Zambian Government is planning to spend over ZMK3bn ($000.6bn) on dairy equipment purchase for small scale farmers in 2013, Zambian Agriculture and Livestock Ministry livestock director in charge Dr. Benson Mwenya has revealed.

Mwenya was quoted by Times of Zambia as saying during the national annual Dairy Forum in Lusaka that the acquisition will be funded through the 2013 budget and the government intends to increase the sector's contribution to the national economy.

"Come next year the ministry will carry out a lot of projects all aimed at boosting the agriculture sector, one particular one is where K3 billion will be spent on buying of equipment for small-scale farmers across the country through their respectable cooperatives and milk collection centres," Mwenya added.

According to Mwenya, the government has so far tapped only 15% of the nation's dairy potential, and is looking to set up additional milk collection centers throughout the country.

The director admitted the low price competitiveness of the milk on the regional market, but stressed that the milk is of higher quality due to low bacterial count.

"Zambia's low price competitiveness of milk can be explained by various factors, one of the main reasons is the high cost of feed which accounts for more than 50 per cent of the total production cost," Mwenya concluded.