25 December 2012

Zambia: Govt to Establish 1,400 Livestock Breeding Centres

THE government is next year expected to establish about 1,400 livestock breeding centres across the country to double the current cattle production and sustain the livestock sector.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock director in charge of livestock Benson Mwenya said the implementation of the projects would commence in the first quarter of 2013.

Dr Mwenya noted that the project would be implemented and funded using the World Bank funds for livestock development.

This year, the World Bank gave Zambia a K265 billion loan for the improvement of livestock productivity in the county.

World Bank loan facility will among other issues be used for the implementation of the Livestock Development and Animal Health Project (LDAHP), creation of livestock breeding centres, rehabilitation and setting up of deep tanks across the country.

Dr Mwenya was speaking in Lusaka last week during his presentation at the national annual dairy forum.

"The ministry has a very tight programme in terms of projects that concern livestock development, we have lined up a number of projects which will begin rolling out come next year and this will help us as a country to fully develop the livestock sector so as to become competitive on the regional market in terms of livestock products," he said.

Dr Mwenya said the government was committed to developing the livestock sector through the usage of latest technology.

He said that there was need for enhanced research and the usage of advanced technology if the sector was to record meaningful development and growth.

Dr Mwenya expressed optimism about the funds which would be used to improve farmers' access to advisory, extension services and also help in strengthening capacity of the sector and overall infrastructure development.

He said to further the use of improved technology in the sector; the ministry would also create satellite artificial insemination centres across the country.

Dr Mwenya said this would help farmers to access quality semen for the production of standard animals.

"We are encouraging artificial insemination, this is good in that farmers will get to produce good animal breeds because the semen is from good recommended bulls and to ensure that the services is readily available to farmers," he said.

However, he disclosed that over 10 thousand stalls of semen had already been packaged at the insemination centre in Mazabuka.

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