By Tamuka Charakupa
AT least 500 households in Chipinge and Chimanimani districts have benefited from a goat breeding project being implemented by government’s development partners to build resilience after most people lost their livestock during the 2019 Cyclone Idai disaster.
The project is being implemented by government through the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the two districts of Chipinge and Chimanimani will share 1 500 goats, while each of the 500 beneficiaries receiving three goats each.
“I lost all my goats during the cyclone, so I am very delighted to be receiving these goats and I am sure by end of the year they should be more,” said Mbuya Terieza Munjuwa.
“Goats are an advantage being they multiply faster so I will be able to breed and sell as a business. We thank government for its continued support because it enables us to build resilience,” said another beneficiary.
The local leadership highlighted the prospects of the project in uplifting livelihoods and building resilience.
“There are several projects that government brought here which include fisheries, chicken rearing and most recently goats. These projects will go a long way in fighting poverty in the community. As a community we were left with nothing after the cyclone so this is a starting point for everyone,” said Lovemore Utseya of Chimanimani RDC Ward 17.
Meanwhile, Manicaland Chief Animal Health Inspector in the Department of Veterinary Services, Mr Roy Dube encouraged farmers to take up goat breeding as a viable option in the wake of climate change.
“Goats are very disease resistant and can withstand high temperatures so they are not affected that much due to ever changing weather patterns,” he said.
FAO Assistant Representative for Programmes, Mrs Constance Pepukai highlighted some of the projects being undertaken by the organisation in Manicaland Province.
“We have provided support in three broad priority areas focusing on the restoration of crop production, restoration of livestock production as well as rehabilitation of irrigation schemes. We have distributed 1 500 goats and we believe this will go a long way in increasing goat production as well as increased opportunities for income diversification,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Veterinary Services Department has urged farmers to guard against pulpy kidney disease which attacks goats due to change of environment.