Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
Government will this year launch the rural goat and poultry pass on scheme as part of efforts to promote livestock in the dry agricultural zones of Zimbabwe and also promote the smaller stock.
This was said by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Anxious Masuka in Parliament while responding to legislators who had enquired on the policy pertaining to agro ecological regions in the country and if there were any plans to rope in the private sector to benefit from the regions.
Dr Masuka said Government was clear that the agricultural activities undertaken in any agro-ecological region had to be context specific.
“We have also put in place policies that promote livestock in the dry agricultural zones of Zimbabwe and also promote the smaller stock. In fact, we are going to launch the rural goat pass on scheme, a poultry pass on scheme. At policy level, Government is clear that the agricultural activities undertaken in any agro-ecological region have to be context specific and Government has put in place policies that promote advancing agriculture that is sensitive to those agricultural regions. With regards to the involvement of the private sector, I think that once Government has set at this broad policy framework to say in agro-ecological region1, for example, in Chipinge macadamia and tea, perhaps the trees of choice and we have got apples and peaches,” he said.
According to the 2021/22 state of preparedness document, the poultry pass-on scheme will commercialise rural poultry production, increasing rural incomes and provide cheap source of protein. The scheme will involve the distribution of free-range poultry chicks to at least 1,8 million rural households in groups over a period of five years.
“The scheme will also supply 10 unsexed chicks, 10kg free-range poultry starter mash and one sachet of vitamin stress mix pack to each household.
“ The breeds of the chickens will include Boschveld, sasso, kuroiler and indigenous chickens among others. The distributed chicks are expected to start production five months after distribution,” said Dr Masuka..
He said agricultural extension officers will also undergo an in-service refresher training course on rural poultry production and proceed to capacitate all beneficiaries through regular training and advisory services in rural poultry production.
“The training will cover aspects of housing, feeds, disease and breed management of rural poultry,” he said.
The goat scheme will distribute 600 000 does and 40 000 bucks to the first 600 000 households for the eight rural provinces in 2021, equitably distributed.
“The second and third groups of 600 000 households will benefit as a pass-on scheme in 2022 and 2023 until all the 1.8 million rural households are covered,” he said.
Households will be organised into groups of 10, each group receiving 2 bucks and each household receiving 1 doe in 2021. This process will be repeated in 2022 and 2023 as a pass-on scheme. Farmers will be trained on good goat management practises.