Beitbridge — BeitbridgE Town Council has ventured into a livestock production and horticulture project in a bid to boost its revenue inflows and also create a beef market for communal farmers around the district. In an interview, the project manager Mrs Lethubuhle Baloyi said they had established a farm near
the town's sewer ponds where they had put 100 cattle on pen fattening. She said the project was launched in August this year adding that they were looking at increasing the herd to 1 000 cattle by early next year.
She said they had also cleared land in preparation for the horticulture project. Mrs Baloyi said they were in the middle of procuring material with work expected to begin in a few weeks.
"The main objective of this project is to produce quality beef and to boost our revenue inflows.
"We are also worried about poverty alleviation by opening up some projects for the community around Beitbridge district and these will promote sustainable development and create employment for most youths at our farm.
"As a local authority we have to be innovative and come up with more ways of making money.
"In our development plan we have undertaken to mobilise as many resources as possible for our capital projects and at the same time we want to increase our revenue base through sustainable natural resources management.
"We don't want to depend on rates from our poor rate payers.
"You will note that most communal farmers will benefit from this project since we have provided a market for them. Very soon we will be supplying meat and vegetables to businesses around the district.
"As a way of avoiding the affluent from the sewer ponds polluting water in the Limpopo River we are going to use most of it in irrigating or vegetables. "The land has been cleared and we are in the middle of procuring the equipment. We expect the project to take of ground soon" she said.
Mrs Baloyi said so far they had managed to sell over 50 cattle to businesses around the district adding that they will continue restocking. She added that their target was to ensure that the communal farmers sold their livestock at competitive prices. She said the horticulture project would also reduce costs some businesses were incurring in importing vegetable from other towns such as Bulawayo, Masvingo, Mutare and Harare.
The town council has also established a truck shop which houses close to 200 trucks per day as a way of boosting its revenue base.