By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
THE 15 percent import duty on milk powder has reduced price competitiveness against imported products in key export markets and if the tax remains unchecked it will result in slow production and job losses, according to Trade Kings Group.
The group, through its subsidiary, Dairy Gold, has therefore started investing in fresh milk processing facilities as a major step towards replacing powdered milk with locally produced fresh milk.
Fresh milk processing facilities with a total capacity of 150,000 litres per day have been set up with a current supply of 60,000 litres, leaving a deficit of 90,000 liters.
This is according the group Public Relations and Corporate Affairs Manager, Bridget Kambobe, yesterday when she visited one of the farms which supplies milk to the group, Mulela Farm.
On the 15 percent tax, Ms Kambobe said it threatened competitiveness of local products in the regional markets, leading to a slowdown in production volumes and ultimately job losses.
As the world celebrates World Milk Day tomorrow, Ms Kambobe said Dairy Gold had focused on capitalising on the opportunities regardless of the challenges to contribute to the transformation of the industry while responding to customer needs.
She stated that the long term vision through Dairy Gold was to ensure dairy farming was modernised through introduction of advanced carrying systems.
And Mulela Farm proprietor, Nosiku Ngenda said: “when we started with dairy gold, we started with about 600 litres per day and now we are giving them above a thousand litres so we have grown a notch.