The assessment of disaster risk reduction strategies in dairy supply chains in Zimbabwe
Disasters are on the increase globally with devastating effects. The devastation caused by these disasters in various countries highlights the need for increased commitment and investment, by government and various stakeholders, in disaster risk reduction. This study investigated disaster risk reduction strategies in Zimbabwe’s dairy supply chains. The study was initiated on the premise that Zimbabwe is at high risk and vulnerable to natural and man-made hazards. The study is set in the backdrop of declining output across all agricultural sectors evident particularly in the dairy farming sector that has seen inadequate supply of raw milk and dairy products by local producers in Zimbabwe. This study therefore sought to assess the collaborative strategies by government, dairy organisations and dairy supply chain stakeholders to reduce disaster risks in the dairy industry. The study employed a mixed-method approach (qualitative and quantitative) to investigate collaborative disaster risk reduction strategies used by dairy supply chain stakeholders to avoid supply chain disruptions. The study used a sample size of 92 dairy farmers, from major milk producing regions of Zimbabwe, for the questionnaire. The Cronbach alpha test for reliability showed a reliable questionnaire. Furthermore, the study used information from key informants, 30 retailers and 20 dairy officers for one-on-one interviews. Quantitative data was analysed using STATA (version 13). OLS regression analysis was done and results were compared with those of the Tobit models as a test for robustness of the results. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis derived from observations and interviews and descriptive statistics presented in tables and bar charts. Notable in the literature reviewed is lack of coordination amongst stakeholders in strategies to reduce disaster risks in dairy supply chains in Zimbabwe. This study adopted a collaborative proactive framework and tested it as a strategy to reduce disaster risks in dairy supply chains. The study gives four major findings. Firstly, dairy supply chains in Zimbabwe were exposed to a number of risks which are: international competition, competition from local giants, financial risks, political risks, technological risks, environmental risks and production risks. Secondly, findings from regression analysis indicated that an overall index of disaster risks significantly influenced job losses, food security, milk productivity and growth of ventures in dairy businesses. Thirdly, there were isolated cases of planned coordination by stakeholders in the industry to reduce the negative effects of disasters across the supply chain. There was collaboration among dairy farmers, processors, NGOs, and government departments of agriculture and environment. Fourthly, an index of collaborative strategies regressed against dependent variables of variables of supply chain cost, lead time milk sales, and variety and quality of milk demonstrated that collaborative strategies in dairy supply chain significantly influenced supply chain costs and variety and quality of milk and milk products. It is expected that the study will assist government in the formulation of public policies for the dairy sector leading to improved access to high quality raw milk and milk products for consumers thus resulting in improved nutrition and food security for the people of Zimbabwe. Policy recommendations highlight that instead of the current maximum of the 5 year lease given to white commercial farmers, the government should consider issuing out long term leases in order to protect long-term investment in dairy projects. Government should, therefore, create an enabling environment for stakeholder partnerships in the dairy sector.