JIMMY CHIBUYE, Choma
SOUTHERN Province Minister Edify Hamukale has urged Parmalat and Varun Beverages to support the growth of milk production in Zambia by working with small-scale dairy farmers.
Dr Hamukale said Parmalat Zambia and Varun Beverages should consider collecting milk from small-scale dairy farmers to boost the processing of the commodity.
He said this in a speech read for him by Southern Province deputy permanent secretary Douglas Ngimbu during the commemoration of the World Milk Day recently.
“We encourage the current processors such as Parmalat and Varun to support and work with small-scale cooperatives to ensure that milk is collected and processed,” Dr Hamukale said.
He said the increase in demand for milk and its products in Zambia is an opportunity for value addition for both dairy cooperatives and processors.
Dr Hamukale also urged dairy cooperatives to venture in value addition of milk and its products.
He said Government is working with cooperating partners and the Dairy Association of Zambia (DAZ) to increase the participation of the farmers in the formal market, which is currently less than 20 percent.
DAZ vice-chairman Farmer Noole said there is need to step up milk production and consumption.
Mr Noole said agriculture would be Zambia’s mainstay and largest employer if Government started supporting small-scale farmers.