Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Cattle dying in numbers in Matabeleland

Cattle dying in numbers in Matabeleland

August 20, 2012 in Local


BULAWAYO — Scores of cattle are dying every week in Matabeleland, a region 
dependent on livestock farming, owing to lack of pasture and water caused by 
the poor rains last season.
Matabeleland South is the hardest hit with worst affected districts being 
Gwanda, Kezi, Mangwe and Bulilima where over 20 cattle are dying on a weekly 
Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU) president, Donald Khumalo said he 
was shocked that the government was not taking any urgent measures to save 
He warned that Zimbabwe could face a repeat of the 1992 situation, when over 
half of the national herd succumbed to drought with Matabeleland regions 
being the most affected.
“We are staring in our faces a repeat of the 1992 situation when livestock 
was lost due to drought. The situation is extremely bad,” said Khumalo.

“It’s a sorry sight which is degenerating at an alarming rate. There are no 
pastures anymore in Matabeleland South provinces and cattle are dying in 
Khumalo said the people of Matabeleland, who are mostly dependent on cattle, 
faced grinding poverty, making it practically impossible for the country to 
achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which call for poverty 

When The Standard visited the province recently, some villagers were selling 
their cattle for as little as below US$200 while others exchanged their 
beasts for solar panels and motor cycles for fear of losing out.

“Government should come up with a stockfeed loan scheme programme to save 
livestock. If that cannot be done, government should ask donors or others 
with resources to assist and save livestock,” said Khumalo.

“Buyers are no longer interested in the cattle because they are below the 
grade which is a big loss to farmers as they are now exposed to ‘vultures’ 
who are buying the cattle for a song.”
The villagers get their drinking water from the same sources as cattle, 
donkeys and wild animals.

Presenting the mid-term budget review statement recently, Finance minister 
Tendai Biti said there was need for mitigatory strategies in the form of 
supplementary feeding and relocation of cattle from drought-stricken areas 
to places with enough pasture to save livestock.

Deputy Agriculture minister, Seiso Moyo on Thursday said there was no plan 
to save livestock, adding that government was still carrying out some 

“It is not that government does not know that there is drought and cattle 
are dying . . . agricultural extension officers are on the ground planning 
to see what can be done to save livestock,” said Moyo. “As soon as they have 
finished with their research, the action plan will be unveiled.” 


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