Nestlé Zimbabwe Driving Agripreneurship to Foster Sustainability in Dairy Farming

Nestlé Zimbabwe joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Milk Day.

The benefits of milk and dairy go beyond its richness in nutritional quality. Dairy worldwide supports the livelihoods of millions of people. At Nestlé, we unlock the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come. It is this belief that fuels our commitment in driving agripreneurship and sustainability with our dairy farmers.

Our long-term commitment to our dairy farmers has been secured over the years with the launch of the Nestlé Dairy Empowerement Scheme (NDES) in 2011. The NDES programme has evolved over the years to focus on agripreneurship. We support our dairy farmers and farming partners to be Agripreneural or have the Agripreneurship mindset. Agripreneurship creates sustainability and at a large scale, creates economic opportunities and social impact in rural communities, which is part of our Nestlé vision and purpose.

“Prior to the onset of the NDES, dairy farmers faced several challenges which included lack of technical support, low dairy herd, poor feeding, water challenges and lack of support on Milk collection Centre’s. At the start of the program, we had no small-scale farmers and we began to build these from 2015. We are happy to report that we now have three small scale farmer groups, Chitomborwizi in Mashonaland West, Watershed in Hwedza, and Agro Prosperity Trust in Marondera. These groups have almost 70 individual dairy farmers in total,” said Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé ESAR.

“Dairy farmers still face challenges today, some of which have been worsened by the onset of COVID-19, however through consorted efforts under our scheme, we are making steady progress despite additional challenges brought about by COVID-19,” he continued.

Watershed Small scale Farmer hub was registered in May last year just as COVID-19 hit Zimbabwe. The group started milking about 2.5K/litres per month, but by December 2020 they had grown their milk volumes to about 11K/litres per month. We are expecting the group to grow their volumes this year by at least 50%.

In driving our agripreneurship and sustainability agenda within NDES, Nestlé Zimbabwe has supported its dairy farmers through the following:

  • Establishment of milk collection centres by providing cooling tanks.
  • Solar powered boreholes to address water challenges for irrigation.
  • Pasture and Silage support to reduce commercial feed requirements: feed constitutes about 75% on the cost of production per liter of milk.
  • Solar powered cooling system to reduce reliance on electricity and diesel for power generation.
  • Knowledge transfer: Good labour practices and Animal welfare.

As Nestlé Zimbabwe, we are proud that through these initiatives, we receive the right quality of milk and build a steady supply of raw milk for our production. At the same time, we can support dairy farmers make changes that enhance their incomes now and build a prosperous future for the next generation of farmers.

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