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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Nine million national herd target on course

Nine million national herd target on course

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

THE national herd target of 9 million is on course as the government continues to rebuild the livestock industry to reduce the import bill.

In 2020 the government approved the Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan running from 2021 to 2026 to restore investor confidence in the sector.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Permanent Secretary, Professor Obert Jiri highlighted milestones achieved under the plan as evidenced by the growth of the national herd.

“Resource mobilisation is underway to identify challenges, focus on solutions and what can be done to capacitate players in the sector. There is a remarkable growth in the national herd to over 5 million and our target is over 9 million to drive the food security aspects, boost value chains and attract more investors,” he said.

The five-year plan has also created favourable conditions for livestock value chains, with the dairy sector being the biggest beneficiary.

“There was a time when we entirely used to import more milk, but if you look at the situation on the ground there is a huge drop in milk imports because of the recovery in the dairy herd aided by the government support schemes,. Furthermore, development partners have assisted us leading to the reduction in terms of the import bill for the commodity the end result has been increased investments and job creation with emerging farmers benefiting from the returns,” said Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers national chairperson, Mr Edward Warambwa.

Other key players like Easi Seeds revealed that strides in the pig sector, poultry units and goat industry bear testimony to the successes of the five-year recovery and growth plan.

Easi Seeds chief executive officer, Mr John Makoni said, “There has been a huge milestone in terms of several livestock units of this economy such a trend has translated the livestock sector into one of the best-performing units of the economy this reflects that commitment by relevant parties to focus on viable returns and commitment by the government to ensure that such a plan becomes a success.”

According to experts, the Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan also feeds into Zimbabwe’s vision of becoming an upper-middle-income society by 2030.

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