Prodairy says capacity up to 20pct of national demand after $4mln investment

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HARARE,– Prodairy, a unit of Probrands says factory capacity has now reached two million litres per month from 1 million litres in 2016 following an investment of $4 million on plant and equipment.

Managing director Calum Phil told journalists during a tour of the operations that  the factory is currently operating at 55 percent capacity due to low raw milk supply but is targeting operating at 75 percent by year end after signing a $1,6 million heifer import scheme partnership.

“We are currently producing 750,000 litres per month and with the new equipment and plant we are targeting 75 percent capacity which is 1.5 million litres by year end,” he said.

Phil said the company has entered a partnership with Mafuro Farming and Subsahara Capital for the importation of 400 heifers.

He added that the company had also entered into a research and partnership agreement with Grasslands Research Institute with the aim to reduce the cost of milk production in Zimbabwe through intensive pasture development.

“As Prodairy, we embarked on a backward integration strategy of milk production. The heifer scheme will add 5 percent to current raw milk supply which is about 500 million litres per month,” he said, adding that the heifers will be imported in batches of 100 starting this month as the cows have already been acquired and going under quarantine in South Africa.

Phi said as capacity improves; the company will pursue regional export opportunities.

Zimbabwe’s nationa demand for raw milk is 10 million litres per month and national supply into processing plant is 5 million litres per month.

Phil said the supply gap requires at least 8,000 milking cows.

Prodairy is one of the big three dairies in the country after Dairibord and Dendairy in Kwekwe. – Source