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Monday, July 15, 2024

Esigodini Agriculture College innovation hub commissioned  

Story by Providence Maraneli
A fully equipped laboratory has been commissioned at Esigodini Agriculture College in Matabeleland South Province to improve the quality of goat breeds and build community resilience in the face of climate change.
The innovation hub has already started benefitting farmers, with villagers from Mawabeni now running a thriving Kalahari goat production project.
“We bring our samples of stock feed here at the lab to have tests done and we also get to know about genetics. This has improved our head, we have 250 goats now and right now, we have 40 kids which is a direct result of this innovation. We are grateful,” said a member of Queen of the Reds goat project, Ms Sikhumbulile Dube.
The innovation hub, which boasts of 54 goats from the UNDP, will be used to produce breeding stock for the community.
The fully equipped laboratory is being used to test the stock feed compositions and feed formulation to improve the health of livestock.
Esigodini Agricultural College’s Head of the Agricultural Engineering Department, Shepherd Simango said, “What we are doing here is that as the farmers are benefiting from the goat breeding project, we have taught them how to make feed and now they have to bring food formulations here so that we determine the quality. This will help us improve.”
The government and its development partners are working flat out to facilitate adaptation and mitigation against climate change.
“The intervention we did was to see how can we work with the government to help them achieve the goal of becoming an upper-middle-income society and for us to see how can we work with the people to ensure that people can manage the impact of Elnino. So that’s why we are doing this at this college. We want communities to be resilient,” said UNDP’s Resident Representative, Dr Ayodele Odusola.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Professor Obert Jiri said, “In our livestock growth plan we have different clusters, the genetics, health and the nutrition of our livestock and as part of us modernising so that we do all that. So we needed this kind of equipment to make sure that we grew our livestock. Feed formulation will reduce production cost and we are impressed by this intervention.”
Meanwhile, over five pure dairy cattle breeds, 54 breeding goats and a borehole have been handed over to Esigodini Agriculture College.

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