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KWEKWE based dairy concern, Dendairy is planning to start exporting into the region after it received necessary regulatory approvals.

The dairy company obtained export licence from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in October last year.

In an interview with The Herald Business yesterday, Dendairy director Mr Archibald Alexander said the company’s capacity increased to five million litres from two million litres per month last year after the commissioning of the new plant hence giving them room to start exporting.

“Exporting is part of our strategic portfolio where if the right time comes we would be exporting into the region,” Mr Alexander said.

“We have received enormous interest from Mozambique, Zambia and Malawi, and we are considering exploiting those markets in the near future.”

He added that the company had also engaged the government of Botswana in view of exporting into that country.

The company increased its production capacity by 150 percent following the commissioning of a $7 million new processing plant in Kwekwe this year.

The plant can now process 7 000 litres of milk per hour for one litre containers and 3 500 litres an hour for 500 ml containers.

Mr Alexander said the company was on an expansion drive to beat the competition from the South African dairy products. He said the export market was the only platform for local companies to exhibit their competitiveness.

“Of the 10 million litres that the country requires per month, half is imported from South Africa, which therefore poses a threat to the local industry. We want to see more jobs being created for locals.

“Investment in a processing plant is meant to boost our capacity as well as beat the growing influx of imported milk in the country,” he said.

He said Dendairy was looking at coming up with strategies that would make the local milk industry competitive more competitive and exporting is one of them.

The dairy industry is currently operating at 45 percent capacity, producing 51 million litres of milk annually against a national demand of around 120 million litres. The vacuum has been being filled by imports mainly from South Africa, New Zealand, the European Union, the United States and Australia.

Source : The Herald