Farmers lose 3 000 cattle to drought

Source: Farmers lose 3 000 cattle to drought | The Herald November 16, 2016

Sydney Kawadza Senior Writer—

Zimbabwe has lost close to 3 000 cattle worth $1,4 million in the past five months due to the effects of the drought that affected the Southern African region.The revelation comes amid calls for farmers to invest in pasture development in the rural areas.

Speaking on the sidelines Pen Fattening Field Day in Jenyura Village, Uzumba, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister (Livestock Production) Paddy Zhanda said farmers should improve the calving rate to recover from the effects of the drought.

“We continue to lose a number of cattle due to the effects of the el Nino-induced drought but what is important is to educate the farmers on how to develop their pastures and feedstock for the animals. We also need to increase livestock production efficiency and work on increasing the calving rate from the current 45 percent to maybe 70-80 percent,” he said.

Deputy Minister Zhanda said while Government and its partners have introduced supplementary feeding in some provinces, it was important for farmers to learn how to prepare for drought seasons.

“We have introduced supplementary feeding with the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Matabeleland, Midlands and Masvingo provinces, which are natural vulnerable, but it’s better we teach people how to increase the production efficiency.”

Government, Deputy Minister Zhanda said, would soon introduce artificial insemination targeting at least 30 herds of cattle at each dip-tank.

“We will introduce artificial insemination targeting 30 cattle at each of the 18 dip tanks in Uzumba so that we improve breeding genetics of the animals,” he said.

International Livestock Research Institute regional representative for Southern Africa, Professor Sikhalazo Dube said approximately 635 000 cattle worth $250 million succumbed to the drought in the region.

“The region was not supposed to lose such a large number of cattle if we had prepared for such circumstances and grow food to feed the animals,” he said.

COMMENTS

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    nelson moyo 6 years ago

    It always amazes me that subsistence farmers do not sell their cattle in advance of their deaths when they know that times are going to be tough !
    Some farmers will always remain poor as long as they live in the past with old fashioned thinking