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Dairy farmers want better milk prices

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LOWE—We are trying to speed up the process

Dairy farmers in the country continue to complain about low milk prices on the market.

Currently, processors are buying milk from bulking groups at a minimum of K200 per litre; an amount the farmers say is too small compared with the high cost of producing the commodity.

The farmers have since called on the government to intervene.

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Speaking during commemorations marking this year’s World Milk Day at Bvumbwe in Thyolo on Wednesday, Shire Valley Milk Producers Association Chairperson Saini Kapito said lack of affordable finance facilities, among other factors, makes dairy farming challenging.

“Apart from that, power outages that the country is experiencing have made it difficult for us as, farmers, to store enough milk before we sell to processors,” Kapito said.

He then called on the government to establish organised and profitable markets for milk in the country by, among other things, attracting more milk processors.

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Reacting to the concerns, Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe said it is in the government’s interest to ensure that milk fetches better prices on the market.

Lowe said value addition and availability of more processors in the country will be the way forward if farmers are to benefit from their toil.

“We, as a ministry, are trying to speed up the process of establishing a national milk marketing board which will assist in the formulation of a proper market for milk in the country,” Lowe said.

World Milk Day is recognised by the United Nations to celebrate the contributions of milk and the dairy sector to people all over the world.

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