The concept from the Feed the Future Zimbabwe Livestock Development program and is now earning monthly income using her three beef cows by delivering 8 liters of milk per day on average to Gokwe Milk Collection Center. GOKWE DAIRY is pioneering the Feed the Future guest dairy (non-member) producer in Gokwe South. This model is a win –win for the MCC and non-MCC members as it increases milk volumes delivered to the MCC, thus lowering fixed costs and allows ‘budding’ dairy farmers a low-cost entry into formal milk marketing. Nyamakawo Collen is one of the five guest dairy farmers who began delivering milk to Gokwe milk collection center (MCC) in April 2017. After meeting milk quality control requirements by investing $30 in the construction of a low-cost milking parlor slab, Nyamakawo made his maiden milk delivery of 10 liters, as ‘guest milk supplier’ to the Gokwe MCC. The ‘guest model’ allows non-members to deliver milk to the MCC and receive a price $0.03 per liter less than MCC members who have paid the joining fee of $150 and monthly subscriptions of $5. Nyamakawo, who is currently realizing an average of 10 liters per day from three cows (two dairy, one beef) applauded the program for the intervention, which allows him access to a reliable formal market, hence an increase in income.
To increase long term milk yields and expand his dairy enterprise, Nyamakawo is set to inseminate his two cows using proceeds from a loan recently received from micro bank, Lion Finance Zimbabwe. The program is working with 700 beef-dairy farmers and currently 5 of them are delivering milk for sale to Gokwe MCC as guest producers with daily contribution of 60 liters (i.e. 2,000 liters per month). This increases the MCC’s daily intake of 300 liters by 15 percent. The program is projecting that by the end of August 2017; there will be 20 guest dairy producers who will be delivering at least 200 liters daily to the MCC translating to 67 percent intake contribution from the guest dairy model.
Beef-Dairy Concept: Linked to the guest dairy model is the program’s beef-dairy concept whereby farmers are encouraged to milk their beef herds not only to meet household nutritional needs, but also to provide a potential source of income as surpluses are sold at first into local markets and eventually into the formal markets through program facilitated market linkages. The process allows beef farmers to transition into dairy farming, “a soft landing” as this requires less capital investment and cultivates a commercial mindset toward dairying.
Lucia Zvidzayi adopted the beef-dairy concept and paid $150 joining fees to become a member of the Gokwe MCC. Zvidzayi began by delivering 3 liters per day from one cow in November 2016 and earned $17 in new monthly income. Now, she delivers 8 liters from three beef cows and earns more than $100 per month.