The government hopes the move will act to ensure that farmers only rear productive cattle, according to Zimbabwe’s deputy minister of agriculture, mechanisation and irrigation development, Seiso Moyo.
Moyo said, “We are telling farmers to sell a few old and unproductive beasts and use the proceeds to buy stock feeds for the remaining herd.
“This is better than losing the entire herd to hunger and starvation. Government is overburdened and farmers can assist by raising funds for supplementary feeding on their own.”
Livestock is the main source of livelihood for many households in the Matabeleland region and farmers have been encouraged to look at production levels like any other business that requires investment explained, Moyo.
Farmers in Gwanda and Beitbridge were responding well to the programme which aims to make it easier for farmers to access their feeds.
“We have arranged with stock feed manufacturers to bring feeds nearer to farmers to make it easy for farmers to access the feeds,” Moyo said.
The government had recently unveiled a US$2mn plan to save livestock in Matabeleland South.
Through the Enhanced Drought Relief and Livestock Mitigation Programme, the government will procure 5,617 tonnes of stock feed to benefit 152,830 cattle.