Govt working to capacitate farmers with quality insemination options

By Sifiso Sibanda

THE issue of livestock genetics remains critical to the growth of the national herd and the government is working on various strategies to capacitate farmers.

The national herd has suffered from failure to contain diseases, with issues related to genetics being attributed to stunted growth.

However, the government is crafting strategies to improve the quality of animals to transform the national herd into commercial breeds such as Brahman and Headmaster.

In a recent interview with Zbc News, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka confirmed that government is aware that the country has fewer breeders and less than 5 000 high breed animals.

“The big concern is the low off-take rate by the farmers and the aspect of disease control which we are managing by regular dipping and the tick grease programme, the bigger picture is that of genetics, our animals have slow growth and this we want to correct in two folds, firstly by distributing good oils and artificial insemination were an option, so we have a plan and that is our starting point,” said Dr Masuka.

On the contentious issue of the defunct Cold Storage Company, Minister Masuka said the government is keen on a business partnership that will ensure the revival of the meat processing company, which was once the pride of the SADC region.

“We want to revive CSC and this will happen soon we know the current state and we assure the nation that soon all shall be well and when that happens we want farmers to have access to better markets so as we sort this outlet the farmers build the herd ready for bigger
markets,” he said.

The government’s approach is in line with the vision of the livestock farmers union, which is working on the concept of commercialising ranching and improving breeds.