BY LORRAINE MUROMO
ZIMBABWE is eager to regain its seat in the beef export sector and is banking on the resuscitation ot the Cold Storage Commission (CSC).
Speaking at the launch of the Boran quarantine station at the Agricultural Research Trust (Art) Farm recently, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary John Bhasera said: “As a country we need to export beef again and that is the reason why we are bringing CSC back to life, but another angle we need to look at in regards to exports from the livestock subsector, is exporting genetics.”
Government hopes to revive the country’s livestock subsector by developing new genetics at the Boran Quarantine station.
“We are launching the station because we believe that for us to grow our livestock subsector we need genetics, pure genetics and this station is a hub for sources of genetics for our livestock space. Issues around genetic improvement are of critical importance as much as issues around animal health and averting poverty are also critical,” Bhasera said.
Despite Zimbabwe being a major exporter of beef to the European Union (EU) before its 9 100 tonnes export quota was suspended in 2001 on the back of a foot-and-mouth disease and the chaotic land invasions, its chances of tapping into the lucrative EU beef market have been further dampened by low production and a myriad of diseases plaguing the sector.
Zimbabwe Boran Breeders Society Chairman Mark Hook said the quarantine station would help to uplift the rural herd because genetics from the station were ideal for cross breeding.