Nkosilathi Sibanda, Sunday News Correspondent
THE dairy farming industry has been plunged into mourning following the passing on of Magaret Nyathi who was one of the founding members of Umzingwane Dairy Co-operative Society Limited Society Limited (UDC).

She died last week at the age of 85. The dairy farming icon was one of the few women who took up farming as a business at a time when it was predominantly a male field. Having spent time working for the Government, Nyathi became a full-time farmer after retirement, at a time when the country’s agricultural sector was at its wan.

“It is with regret that the founder member of Umzingwane Dairy Co-operative, Margaret Nyathi has passed on. She had a vision after visiting other indigenous dairies in other provinces to bring it to Matabeleland and worked tirelessly to ensure it happened by sourcing from donors.

She managed to build the Umzingwane and company premises for the managers,” said her daughter, Mrs Sheilla Lupwana.

At its peak, the co-operative, used to produce about 5 000 litres a month producing pasteurised milk, yoghurt, ice cream and dairy juices.

Nyathi is survived by her daughter and 16 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren.