Zimbabwe establishes ward sales centres to protect farmers from the crippling impacts of a severe drought

Zimbabwe establishes ward sales centres to protect farmers from the crippling impacts of a severe drought

Agribusiness Media - June 24, 2024: To protect farmers from exploitation and other vices during livestock sales, the government of Zimbabwe is establishing Ward Sales Centres. 

Today, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development has issued a livestock drought management policy document on the prevention of losses for all species of livestock, among them beef and dairy cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, and poultry.

These key measures would focus on the most vulnerable provinces, such as Masvingo, Matabeleland South and North, Midlands, and parts of Manicaland. Innovation whereby Village Business Units (VBUs) would be established at the ward level to assist farmers in realizing value from their animals when sold. This was revealed by Deputy Minister Hon. Vangelis Haritatos, who said this was important because most farmers went on panic selling due to the arid season, the worst in four decades.

Based on the second round of crop and livestock assessment (CLAFA2), household resources range between six and nine months in some regions, with the three most affected. During the 2023/24 El Niño lean season, 1,488,523 affected cattle were significantly affected out of 2,882,710 that were at risk.

The government will make sure that all sales of cattle are done through ward-based business units, which will be linked to abattoir operators and buyers. This will provide the services necessary, such as fodder production, feed formulation, the establishment of watering points, and feedlot facilities. Multi-purpose solar-powered boreholes will be drilled at each VBU site to ensure a sustainable water supply. This national disaster declaration, therefore, shows clearly how serious the situation of the drought is and how effective interventions need to come in place urgently to save the agricultural sector of Zimbabwe from the immediate impacts and those of the long run.


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