By Wellington Makonese
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is intensifying the semi-manufacturing of livestock detoxification chemicals to reduce the import bill and preserving the national herd.
Dr John Bhasera, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development said government concerted efforts to reduce the import bill of livestock detoxification chemicals follows the successful implementation of the Presidential tick grease programme across the country which has contributed significantly to growth of the national herd.
“We are embarking on Iiport substitution or semi manufacturing import substitution scheme, whereby we importing active ingredient of chemicals and remove the vital component and do your processing in the country. It is creating more jobs, but the ultimate goal is saving foreign currency by 60% and it will reduce prices on the shelves by about 52 percent. We are already doing so after cabinet approval and working as well with private partners.”
Construction of sufficient dip-tanks for the program has been prioritised for quick win solutions.
“We are on a blitz to establish more dip-tanks. We do have over 4 000 dip-tanks in the country, but we have around 1000 that are non-functional, for the farmers need to have a sense of ownership for the staff, but we will help them from the procurement of material. In the next two years, farmers have to religiously dip their livestock to preserve the national herd.”
Since the livestock recovery plan came in, the national herd sharply grew from 5.4 million to 5.5 million.