Notes to broadcasters on dairy farming in Zimbabwe

    | April 11, 2011

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    Small-scale dairy farmers in Zimbabwe recognize that raising livestock can be a profitable venture. However, as our story relates, some farmers still face obstacles in their dairy businesses, whether it be lack of transport, processing facilities or business skills. In a country dealing with the aftermath of land reforms, some dairy farmers feel they have a long way to go.
    This recent piece was published in the state-run newspaper, The Herald: Unlocking Smallholder Farmers’ Potential
    -A mystery at the dairy: The importance of proper sanitation when working with animals (Package 63, Script 6, April 2002).
    -‘Spray me, I’m itchy’: What moo really means (Package 88, Script 4, July 2009).
    For more scripts on livestock rearing practices, follow this link:
    These stories from past issues of FRW look at how dairy farmers can work together to improve their income, and illustrate reasons why local milk production is increasingly valued:
    -Ethiopia: Dairy co-ops turn extra milk into profit (FRW 74, July 2009).
    -Africa: Local milk promoted in wake of Chinese milk contamination (FRW 39, October 2008).
    -Mauritius: Young farmers return to dairy (FRW 94, January 2010).

    For technical information on dairy farming, you can download a booklet entitled “Dairy cattle husbandry” here at no cost:

    Farm Radio International has published a number of scripts on livestock. Here is a selection:

    -A Guide for Broadcasters to Some Important Livestock Diseases (Package 63, Script 1, April 2002).

    -A farmer practices zero grazing (Package 51, Script 3, February 1999).

    You may wish to produce a program on the issues involved in dairy production in your broadcast region. Whether dairying  is common practice or not, you could explore some of the following issues with farmers, co-operatives, extension workers and listeners:

    -Is dairy a viable option for small-scale farmers? What reasons do farmers give for raising dairy cattle?

    -What opportunities are there for dairy farmers to expand in your region? What are the main obstacles?

    -What support would dairy farmers need in order to expand operations or reach markets? What options do farmers have for processing milk into other products?

    -Is there reliable local demand for dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt?