Situational analysis of the effects of load shedding on dairy milk production industry in Zambia: a case of Finta farms, 2013 – 2016.

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Masule, Dean
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The University of Zambia
This research sought to assess the effects of load shedding on dairy milk production industries in Zambia. The researcher was motivated to undertake this study due to lack of socio economic development as a result of erratic power supply caused by load shedding to Zambian industries. The research sought to establish how load shedding affected the quantities of milk produced per day and to determine if the reduction of milk affected the company profits. The research further sought to ascertain whether the selected firm had resorted to the use of alternative sources of energy and its effects on productivity and profitability. In order to achieve the objectives of the research, a case study of Finta farms limited, a Livingstone based dairy industry was undertaken. The primary data was obtained by the use of closed ended, self-administered questionnaires. From the analysis of the primary data, the research established that load shedding had a negative effect of a 20% drop on the quantities of milk harvested per day as it reduced from 2500 litres of milk to 2000 litres per day. The drop in the quantity collected from nilk collection centres was due to challenges of power outages. In order to mitigate the impact of load shedding, Finta farms reported that they had resorted to the use of alternative sources of energy and measures such as standby generators and overtime Over time saw an increase from 5% to 11%. Another cost that swelled was energy cost from an average cost K21, 000, Zesco monthly bills to K70, 632 cost of diesel per month representing 29.7% increase and a combination of these costs reduced the profits of Finta farms. Since some firms resort to procure standby generator sets during times of power interruptions, the republic of Zambia should consider encouraging investors to build a plant that would be manufacturing these big generators so that these sets can be easily procured even by the small scale farmers locally. During times of load shedding the government should consider subsidizing the price of fuel to dairy farmers who in turn should not pass on high production cost to consumers.
Load Shedding--Economic activities.