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Over 40 communal farmers benefit from the Presidential Heifer Scheme

Story by Mercy Bofu-Matinha

OVER 40 communal farmers from Masvingo province who lost their cattle to January disease have received heifers under the Presidential Heifer Scheme, as the country works on growing the national herd.

Ms Nhamo Madhanana and Mr Alfonsi Manyimo are among livestock farmers who lost thousands of cattle to the January disease two years ago.

The government has since come to their rescue through funding from the African Development Bank, Special Emergency Assistance Fund.

The duo is among beneficiaries who received heifers in Masvingo this Tuesday.

The event saw communal livestock farmers being challenged to harness extension workers and government programmes to grow their herd.

“As communal farmers, now that you have received support from the government, let us ensure we dip our cattle as often as we can, and again let’s get advice from extension workers within our areas,” said Chief Animal Health Inspector, Ms Pheobie Chidziya.

The government also reiterated its commitment to the growth of the livestock sector.

“The government is aware of the challenges that communal farmers are facing given that we are in the drought season. We are working on sinking borehole in your areas and ensure you access stockfeed,” said Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Ezra Chadzamira.

At the peak of January disease, Masvingo province lost more than six thousand cattle in one year, with government interventions reducing the loss to less than one thousand cattle for the past two seasons.

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