South milk producers cry for testing facilities

MILK producers in Southern Province have called on the Dairy Association of Zambia (DAZ) and Government to assist them by setting up testing facilities in the province to avoid overdependence on centres set up by milk processors.
Currently, farmers depend on facilities set up by milk processors who are also buyers of their milk, a system which they claimed cannot be trusted.
This is contained in the Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) Friday brief.
“The farmers further requested for small testing laboratories at milk collection centres so that they can test their milk before supplying to milk processors,” the statement reads.
In Eastern Province, Zanaco with Mocat Zambia have conducted financial literacy training for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs in Petauke.
During the training, Mocat Zambia national coordinator Gilbert Banda said there was need for entrepreneurs to keep records as this will enable them to know the financial standing of their businesses and make comparisons over the years.
Mr Banda also encouraged farmers to venture into other profitable businesses such as village chicken rearing and not concentrate on rearing broiler chickens which are now flooding the markets and fetching lower prices.
The training also highlighted the need for producers to be determining their own pricing and not wait for buyers to determine for them.
Meanwhile, Nakonde District Administrative Officer Evans Mpande challenged farmers in Zambia to practice crop diversification just like their counterparts in Tanzania are doing.
Mr Mpande said crop diversification will help farmers overcome the problem of lacking markets for their agricultural produce.
He also urged farmers to sell their maize to private buyers and not depend on the Food Reserve Agency which is only buying maize for strategic reserves.

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