Namwala milk centres face closure


PARMALAT Zambia says it might close its milk collection centres in Namwala due to the low milk production.
The company attributes the low milk volumes at collection centres to inadequate pastures for cattle during the dry season and also the fact that most farmers in Namwala are in beef cattle, according to a ZNFU weekly brief availed to the Daily Mail on Monday.
Parmalat field facilitator Kelvin Muchenje said during a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Dairy Association of Zambia and Parmalat Zambia in Namwala last week.
Mr Muchenje said Parmalat is collecting low volumes of less than 500 litres of milk every two days from the whole district.
“Parmalat Zambia has since given milk collection centres a one week ultimatum to start delivering substantial amounts of milk, failure to which the company will stop sending refrigerated trucks to collect milk from the district.
“The low volumes are proving to be too costly for Parmalat to continue servicing milk collection centres in Namwala,” Mr Muchenje said.
Meanwhile, a suspected disease that causes destruction of red blood cells in cattle has broken out in some parts of Lufwanyama district.
Lufwanyama assistant district veterinary officer David Kamwela said tests have since been conducted and the district is awaiting results.
Mr Kamwela has, however, assured farmers not to panic as the disease will soon be contained.
He also urged farmers to report any suspected sick animals to the nearest veterinary office and to avoid buying animals from sources outside the district.