The Herald (Harare)

2 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Drought Mitigation Drive On

GOVERNMENT has moved 7 000 tonnes of stock-feeds to drought prone areas of Zimbabwe in a programme that started last September to supplement feeding for livestock in drought-prone areas.

Acting principal director Livestock and Veterinary Services Mr William Shereni yesterday said 4 000t of the consignment were survival rations. The other 3 000 tonnes were pen fattening feeds.

"The food is being moved to the southern parts of the country that are naturally dry and do not have adequate pastures for cattle. Areas such as Matabeleland South and North, Masvingo, the Midlands province and some parts of Manicaland South like Buhera have since benefited from the programme.

"We are receiving reports that there have been few livestock deaths related to malnutrition this time around, which means the programme has been successful and will continue. Matabeleland is reputed for cattle farming and contributes immensely to the national herd," said Mr Shereni.

He said the programme was part of the Government's drought mitigation efforts aimed at complimenting the current drive to re-build the national herd.

The national herd had been severely depleted due to years of adverse weather and harsh economic times that forced farmers to sell cattle for an income. The national herd currently stands at just over 5,2 million cattle.

The farmers affected by the adverse weather phenomenon are usually small-holders.

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