Milk producers bemoan electricity blackouts
The ongoing rationing of electricity by Escom is causing panic among dairy cow farmers from Bvumbwe in Thyolo as the cost of keeping the milk fresh is now getting heavier.
Henry Manyenga, treasurer for Chandamale Milk Bulking Group, said in the absence of electricity, the bulking groups are turning to diesel or petrol-driven generators to run the refrigerators in which they store the milk.
He said this is proving rather too costly as the blackouts continue to worsen and becoming more frequent.
“Each morning we are waking up to a blackout. Milk is a delicate commodity it has to be kept safe and fresh always; so this massive load shedding is a big blow to us for we are under pressure to cough out more money to sustain our refrigeration system,” said Manyenga.
He said dairy farming alone is costly and the farmers suffer even worse brunt when they have to throw away the milk they have worked so hard to produce because it has gone bad due to electricity problems.
Manyenga pleaded with Escom to consider places like milk bulking centres in its load shedding programmes.
Chandamale milk bulking centre receives 5000 litres of milk on a daily basis and is considered one of the biggest in the country.
Escom has embarked on a massive load shedding programme following the decline of water levels on the Shire River where it has its power stations.
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