Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Farmers look forward to command livestock training programme

Farmers look forward to command livestock training programme
Paul Zakariya

Paul Zakariya

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
FARMER organisations say they are ready to receive training under the Command Livestock Agriculture programme which the Government is set to roll out soon.

Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced last month that Cabinet approved the Command Livestock production model targeting beef, dairy and poultry and the production of associated equipment.

The Government is expected to roll out training on livestock production across the country ahead of the implementation of the livestock scheme.

Some of the farmer representative bodies that spoke to Business Chronicle yesterday said they have already started mobilising their members ahead of the livestock training programme aimed at boosting the national herd.

Zimbabwe’s national herd is below five million after thousands of cattle died during the successive years of drought.

“The Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development has indicated to us that it would be rolling out a training programme on livestock production soon and our members are ready,” said the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) executive director Mr Paul Zakariya.

He said they have since embarked on awareness campaigns across all the provinces encouraging their members to participate in the initiative once the Government rolls out the programme.

In a separate interview, the Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union provincial chairperson for Matabeleland North Mr Denis Ngwenya said they were presently engaged in a membership recruitment exercise ahead of the implementation of the Command Livestock scheme.

“We are ready to take up training given the fact that we are already into livestock production,” he said.

The Zimbabwe National Commercial Farmers’ Union vice president responsible for commodities Mrs Portia Gwenzi said:“We hope the Command Livestock programme will work out well just like what happened on the cropping side. With regards to the Command Livestock training, we have not yet received communication from the Government and we are waiting to hear how it would be implemented.”

The programme was deliberately timed to start this year so that the livestock sector can benefit from this year’s high maize production.

Last year the Government launched Command Agriculture to boost crop production.

Increasing food production both grain and livestock is at the heart of the Zim-Asset programme. Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister, Dr Joseph Made recently announced a $150 million livestock programme to cover restocking, equipment, pasture development and resuscitation of the Cold Storage Company.

At its peak in 1999, Zimbabwe’s beef exports stood at 14 000 tonnes a year.



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