Passmore Gahadzikwa, the Mashonaland West Head of Department for Livestock Production and Development, said small scale-farmers lacked proper breeding management techniques such as dietary values, castration and dosing control. He said this had affected the quality of breeds produced in the communal areas.
“From the assessment we have carried out throughout the communal area in this province, livestock production is being affected by factors such as lack of dipping and other technical issues such as dosing and nutrition, he said.
Government should invest heavily in training programmes for communal farmers and the construction of dips across the country to revive the dwindling national herd to pre-1999 levels, he added.
The breeds of cattle being produced by our small-scale farmers are of poor quality and cannot be sold for export. Government must invest heavily in training, construction and rehabilitation to protect the current existing herd of cattle from diseases such as foot and mouth which are quite common,” said Gahadzikwa.
Meanwhile, farmers have embarked on a fundraising programme to construct dip tanks.
“We will mould bricks and buy cement and dosing chemicals from the funds raised from our own initiatives. We want to save our cattle because they are our source of wealth. We cannot afford to lose them to diseases. We are poor and government should provide us with training programme to learn modern techniques of breeding cattle,” said Rosemary Kamanga, a communal farmer.
Small-scale farmers here have lost a considerable number of their livestock to foot and mouth which is spread by buffalos from nearby game reserves.Post published in: News