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 Producers’ Association



  CPA – Where are we now? The CPA has been run on a very low key basis for the past 2 to 3 years. A decision was made at the 2008 AGM that CPA would be run as a section under the NADF, with NADF management representing the CPA at executive level. The reason for this move was predominantly due to the lack of funding of the organization, with levy income in particular becoming smaller and smaller as time progressed.  The CPA still has certain assets under its control, being the CPA flat in Avondale and a Peugeot 306 vehicle. New tenants are being sourced for the flat, and this should be a relatively good and continuous source of income for the association. CPA – Where to from here? Regardless of the low level at which the CPA finds itself, it must be stated that the association is still very much in existence and this base has to be used as a platform from which a strong, vibrant and effective organization needs to be rebuilt or re-launched. There is basically a clean slate from which to work, and new and progressive ideas will be put forward to build an association that is of benefit to all members, old and new, and that provides a service that is in line with similar organizations throughout the SADC region. Various people will be approached to help in this process, but all input and ideas are welcome, as it must essentially be a producer driven organization to meet the requirements and expectations of all cattle producers. Status of National Herd The size of the national herd is a topic of much speculation.  Current figures cannot be quoted, as no formal livestock census has been carried out for many years. There is also the aspect of movement of cattle over the past few years between various sectors of the farming make-up in Zimbabwe, but in reality it is very difficult to come up with meaningful figures. The last livestock census results that were published by the Ministry of Agriculture were done in 2004 and that point in time the breakdown was as follows:·         A1 sector:                         842,481·         A2 sector:                         429,041·         Communal sector:         3,755,946·         Small scale sector:            199,051·         TOTAL:                         5,226,519An important future strategy for CPA will be how to harness the above livestock numbers for the benefit of the industry.    Markets The beef market in Zimbabwe has fluctuated a great deal over the past 12 months. Moving from a situation characterized by price controls and Zimbabwe Dollar prices to the current foreign currency situation. Generally the market has been fairly soft over the past few months with Supers fetching up to $1,50 live weight. Cattle numbers on auctions appear to be improving slowly, and there appears to be a market for all types of stock offered. The local industry was affected quite heavily in the first part of the year by cheap beef imports. It appears that this situation has been brought under control. It must be stressed that the survival, let alone the success, of the local beef industry and its related industries such as the feed industry, are dependent on the control of any such imports into the future. At the same time, it is imperative that the local producer be efficient in the production of beef and be in a position to supply beef to the market at prices that are also competitive from a regional and international perspective, taking into account local circumstances. The role of LMAC in this regard can also not be underestimated. ZHB & LIT Both of these organizations are very much functioning, and offering an invaluable service. Dr Mario Beffa heads up LIT and also takes care of the ZHB business as a section of the LIT structure. Traceability remains an important aspect that the industry should strive for, and in this regard tag sales appear to be steady. ZHB is embarking on a project to obtain new software to better perform as bureau for the pedigree industry and the intention will be to link into Breedplan, to offer a regional and internationally linked service to the pedigree cattle producers. I look forward to an exciting year with CPA with the view to building it back up and taking it from strength to strength. Thank you Petrus Erasmus(Interim Chairperson)08 July 2009 



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