Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
The distribution of inputs under the Presidential Livestock Scheme is underway as the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement intensifies the creation of forage banks for improved animal nutrition in the southern drier regions of the country.
Priority will be given to the hardest hit southern drier areas with the highest cattle drought-related deaths.
To mitigate against the effects of drought, Government through the Department of Livestock Production and Development is implementing the “Creation of Forage Banks” programme, which will see 500 000 households with cattle in receiving legume pasture seed packs and fertilisers.
Farmers are urged to check with their nearest GMB depots for the inputs to enable immediate planting as the pastures will be harvested for use as forage, providing the much-needed protein source during the next dry period.
The programme is expected to cover approximately 61 334 hectares when the programme is completed mid-February.
Zimbabwe has been experiencing drought-related cattle deaths over the years and the hardest hit areas are Matabeleland North and South, Masvingo, Midlands, and some parts of Manicaland provinces, losing 154 517 cattle worth US$15 million since 2015.
Acting Director Livestock Production and Development, Mr Alban Mhindurwa confirmed that distribution of the inputs under the programme had started.