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Hybrid bulls for Gwanda

by Staff reporter
19 Apr 2021 at 18:05hrs | Views
THE Government has supplied 34 hybrid bulls to Gwanda district in Matabeleland South for cross-breeding purposes to resuscitate beef and leather production, which is on the decline, a Cabinet minister has said.

Agriculture minister Anxious  Masuka said the bulls, that were distributed to chiefs in the district, are meant to produce hybrid cattle as the livestock in those areas is now of poor quality due to drought and other factors.

"Our cattle production has been deteriorating and we moved to supply hybrid bulls to chiefs in Gwanda so that we go back to the era where Zimbabwe used to produce high quality beef and milk cattle," he said.

Masuka said the move by the government is also an effort to uplift communal farmers who own an approximate 90 percent of cattle in the country.

"Our wealth as a nation lies in the rural communities and we need to be assisting them always so that we come up with a good produce.

"Cattle is our form of prestige and a source of income hence we have to guard our livestock jealously. The government is determined to uplift these communal farmers," he said.

Masuka said hybridisation will see the resuscitation of the leather industry in the country.

"Our leather produce drastically decreased from 17 million pairs of shoes annually to 1,5 million annually and this can also be a result of poor quality leather produced by our livestock.

"Hence we need to find ways to resuscitate the industry and having hybrid cattle is one of the solutions. We singled out Gwanda but the exercise is being done in other parts of the country as well," he said.

He said the government is also looking into resuscitating the Cold Storage Commission.

Masuka added that the government is also working on the rehabilitation of 2 700 dip tanks countrywide to increase cattle production and protect livestock.

"We have 4000 dip tanks and
2 700 need rehabilitation and we are working on that. We want to make sure that our cattle are well looked after," he said.

Masuka said some households are being given seed and fertiliser to revive pastures and produce food for cattle.

He said once farmers master cross breeding, this will also reduce importation of meat, milk and their products.

Source - dailynews