By MAIMBOLWA MULIKELELA -
ZAMBEEF will invest around K5.4 million in barns to house the expanding herd of dairy cows on its Kalundu Farm in Chisamba.
The five cowsheds will each hold up to 300 animals, enabling Zambeef to almost double its current milking herd of 800 animals to around 1,500 cows.
Each barn will feature a state-of-the-art feeding system, ventilation and a manure management set-up, enabling better quality breeding, animal husbandry and milking.
Zambeef head of corporate and public affairs Felix Lupindula said the expansion of its dairy farm would enable the company improve the quality of its milking herds.
“Expansion of the dairy farm will enable Zambeef to improve the quality of its milking herd, which will be good for consumers, create more jobs, generate more tax and help grow the country’s economy. It is well recognised that happy cows produce more and better milk,” he said.
In a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Lupindula said details of the proposed construction project and its impact had been set out in a 146-page environmental impact assessment presented to the Zambia Environmental Agency (ZEMA).
The new barns will help the farm to increase milk production from 20,000 litres to around 37,500 litres a day, supplying fresh milk to Zambeef’s new Zammilk dairy processing plant.
The processing plant opened by Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda in November last year trebled Zambeef’s milk processing capacity to around 100,000 litres per day, using raw milk supplied by Kalundu Dairy Farm and small-scale dairy farmers in the surrounding area.
The fresh milk is processed into Zammilk pasteurised full-cream milk, semi-skimmed milk, butter, cheese and ZamSip drinking yoghurt.
In addition to improving the quality and quantity of milk production and improving efficiency, the dairy farm expansion is set to generate additional employment in the local area, and have a knock-on effect in terms of additional tax paid to the Government and local Councils.