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Notes to broadcasters on dairy farming in Zimbabwe

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 http://allafrica.com/stories/201104040061.html [1]
-A mystery at the dairy: The importance of proper sanitation when working with animals (Package 63, Script 6, April 2002). http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/63-6script_en.asp [2]
-‘Spray me, I’m itchy’: What moo really means (Package 88, Script 4, July 2009). http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/88-4script_en.asp
For more scripts on livestock rearing practices, follow this link:
http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/livestock.asp [3]
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). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/07/20/1-ethiopia-dairy-co-ops-turn-extra-milk-into-profit-leisa/ [4]
-Africa: Local milk promoted in wake of Chinese milk contamination (FRW 39, October 2008). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/10/06/1-africa-local-milk-promoted-in-wake-of-chinese-milk-contamination-le-soleil-angola-press-agency-the-east-african/ [5]
-Mauritius: Young farmers return to dairy (FRW 94, January 2010).http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/01/11/2-mauritius-young-farmers-return-to-dairy-spore/ [6]

For technical information on dairy farming, you can download a booklet entitled “Dairy cattle husbandry” here at no cost: http://www.anancy.net/documents/file_en/14-e-2004_screen.pdf [7]

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). http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/63-1script_en.asp [8]

-A farmer practices zero grazing (Package 51, Script 3, February 1999). http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/51-3script_en.asp [9]

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?