11 August 2020
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Monday, 15 April 2019 09:21

Kasungu ADD tips Mchinji dairy farmers on milk products

Written by  Macdonald Ziba and Lucy Phiri
Milk production Milk production

Mchinji, April 15, 2019: Dairy farmers in Mchinji district have been tipped to venture into in production of more milk products if they are to win market competition against foreign milk and milk products.

Kasungu Agriculture Development Divisions (ADD) Deputy Programmes Manager, Yusufu Shaibu made the remarks Friday during an agriculture field day organised by Agriculture Extension Coordinating Committee (DAECC) in area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Simphasi in the district.  

He said Mchinji being a border district imports lots of milk and milk products from Zambia and Mozambique, a situation creating a tough rivalry on the market for local smallholder dairy farmers.

He explained: “These foreign milk and milk products are everywhere on the market and the possible way to compete with them, is not only to rely on selling the milk but farmers should add value to it.

“Milk as a product can be challenging to sell but in manufactured forms like chambiko, butter and yoghurt, the market is wider.”

Shaibu applauded Chioshya Milk Chilling cooperative for having plans to open up a factory for manufacturing milk products, citing that it was a good strategy to maximize profits.
He also urged farmers to refrain from selling much of their farm harvest if they are to ensure food security.

He said having abundant yield as it is the case with Mchinji district in the current harvest season, does not imply food security.

“There may be surplus food but various factors might lead into food insecurity, over selling being a major challenge as a result of numerous readily available markets,” he articulated.

He continued: “Those that have grown food crops like maize should look at how much has been harvested and calculate if it can cater for family members for the whole year.

“In that way they will know how much to sell and keep for themselves.”

Shaibu observed that Mchinji is blessed with lots of dambo areas, which farmers could use for winter cropping to supplement yield from rain fed harvest.

He also recommended that farmers should form associations and adapt to the use of modern technology of reserving farm produce in warehouses.

Speaking during the fair, a dairy farmer Mary Kunyatula bemoaned over low milk prices on the market, saying though farmers put in lots of inputs, the output is very low.   

“Normally, the buyer imposes the price and farmers just follow,” she said.

This year’s theme for agriculture field day is agriculture diversification and harmonization of technologies is key for sustainable food, nutrition and income security.