Farmers embrace Command Livestock

Source: Farmers embrace Command Livestock | The Herald June 7, 2019

Farmers embrace Command LivestockAt least 204 heifers are ready for distribution under the Command Livestock Programme

Heather Charema in Chegutu
Cattle farmers who lost their herds to tick-borne diseases like theileriosis (January disease) have embraced the Command Livestock Programme to boost their herds.

Chegutu was among the most affected districts in the country which saw the nation losing over 15 000 cattle to the deadly disease last year. In an interview Chegutu District livestock specialist Mr Alois Pagute said 204 heifers were ready for distribution.

“Our intended beneficiaries stand at 40 but we may increase the figures because 29 farmers have already bought their heifers,” he said.

“We are currently awaiting drugs from the ministry so that we are able to boost cattle production in the district.”

Mr Pagute said the district was having challenges with the mode of payments

“Our major challenge is agreeing with the sellers who are citing economic challenges,” he said. Mr Edgar Zimwanda, a cattle farmer in Mubaira said the command livestock program required unity among farmers to work towards boosting their herds while fighting the disease together. “I am one of the farmers who lost cattle to January disease last year and now that this program has been availed to us I feel that as farmers we need to unite and fight the diseases together so that we boost our herds together,” he said.

The most prevalent diseases affecting cattle are theileriosis, babesiosis, heartwater, anaplasmosis and sweating sickness.

Government is strengthening the Veterinary Services Department by purchasing modern equipment to detect diseases.