Rusitu Dairy Association successfully completed an 18 month USADF funded grant of $ 92 719.00 and have since applied and succeeded to obtain a $244 365 three year Grant in January this year which comprises of farmer trainings ,tillage and forage harvesting equipment which include a 90 horse power tractor, farm trailer ,disc harrow and forage harvester ,$80 000 for heifer revolving funds, funds for maize seed, fertilizer and Agriculture lime for fodder reinforcement, a borehole for Upperrand Center and funds for acquiring Molasses ,stock feed and funds for Administrative support. The objective was to mechanize thus improve the easy of doing business, increase productivity subsequently improving the livelihoods of the members of Rusitu Dairy Association.
Grant Signing ceremony at Mayfield office, The SDC committee, the Project coordinator and standing is Mrs. Chimwara USADF Country Coordinator.
Dairy Revitalisation Programe
Rusitu Dairy Association applied for and was awarded a 25 in calf Jersey heifer loan valued at $ 33 750 under the Dairy Revitalization Program in a Public Private Partnership between the Government of Zimbabwe, ZADF and other stockholders.
This loan was approved after careful selection of the beneficiaries by LPD staff, our processor Dairibord, ZADF officers and Rusitu Project Coordinators to make sure the heifers were awarded to capable deserving candidates who would be able to take care of the animals because the success of the Program depends on the productive outcome of the animals. The objective of the program was to increase the National Dairy Herd, increase milk production to meet the national requirement in line with the Zimasset targets. The Heifers have since calved down, increased the Associations milk volumes buy 20% and increased the herd of pure breed dairy animals.
One of the 25 Dairy Revitalization Program (DRP) Heifers, Averaging 12 liters in its first lactation.
SNV Matching Grant
SNV availed a $45 000 matching Grant to Rusitu Small Scale Dairy Association to help acquire 20 breeding heifers and 28 in calf Dairy heifers in a 30% -70% matching Grant of which farmers contributed $13 500.00 and SNV $31 500.00, this was in a bid to raise Rusitu Small Scale Dairy Associations milk production and increase the milking herd subsequently improving the livelihoods of the members.
Most of the heifers have since calved down, improved our Dairy herd and increased our milk volumes.
One of the Heifers obtained from the SNV matching Grant, she was giving about 15 litres per day during her mid lactation .it belongs to Ms Selina Sithole of Plot Number E 19 Mayfield
Goshen Milk Collection Centre Construction
Rusitu Small Scale Dairy in Partnership with SNV constructed Goshen Milk Collection Center and SNV equipped it with a solar borehole, a solar geyser and a 5000 litre Reservoir Tank, Farmers paid for builders, molded bricks, brought in stones and provided their labour throughout the project. They are now in the processes of sourcing for funds to equip the center with a 1000 litre milk cooling tank.
The objective was to improve the cold chain as milk is being hauled seven kilometres uphill on donkey back to the nearest collection centre once a day and the afternoon milk finds its way into the side market, the construction will reduce the drudgery of hauling milk every day and will provide storage for the evening milk, reduce side marketing thus increasing the milk volumes going through the centre.
Rusitu Dairy Association Goshen Milk Collection Center, Constructed by the Association Farmers and SNV. Equipped with a solar borehole, solar geyser and a 5000 litres water tank.