The Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) has called for the development of the livestock sector through the provision of sustained financing options and affordable vaccines across the country.
DBZ managing director Jacob Lushinga said improved access to veterinary services and vaccines will help reduce waste and livestock disease outbreaks, especially among small holder farmers.
He said this when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on Agriculture, Land and Natural Resources chaired by Kaputa Member of Parliament Maxus Ngónga.
Mr Lushinga said it was unfortunate that access to finance among livestock farmers still remained a challenge.
"As Zambia's population continues to grow and people's income increases, the demand for livestock products is also expected to grow, therefore, there is need to ensure that the growth of this sector is sustained through the provision of financing options, vet services, extension services and affordable vaccines across the country," he said
Mr Lushinga said improved access to veterinary services is also vital in ensuring that farmers produce quality livestock that meets both local and international standards for the buyers.
He observed that some international markets have set and require high quality standards in the livestock sector as it is extremely important to protect consumers.
"Animal husbandry techniques are important to the livestock sector. Not only does it improve yields, it also improves stocking levels of farms.
"The promotion of advanced animal husbandry techniques should help ensure the growth of the sector into the much more sustainable level that will not only improve the economy, but lead to long term job creation within the livestock sector," he said.
Mr Lushinga said there is also need for improved access to animal nutritional education as it is important in developing and improving productivity in the livestock sector.