Vice President Retired General Dr Constantino Chiwenga is expected to launch the livestock revitalisation programme in Insiza today.
The Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) has partnered Zimplats to roll out the programme which will start running in Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North before being taken to other provinces.
Matabeleland South Provincial Administrator Ms Sithandiwe Ndumo-Ncube yesterday confirmed that VP Chiwenga would launch the programme.
“We’re excited about the livestock revitalisation programme because it’s important for our province. VP Chiwenga will be our guest of honour. The launch will take place at Tsomo Dip Tank, Village 13 in Insiza District,” said Mrs Ndumo Ncube.
ZAS head of programmes and public affairs Ms Roberta Katunga said the programme, which is also meant to promote sustainable agricultural activities, will complement the Government’s Command Livestock programme.
“Following national consensus on the need to revitalise communal livestock and production to improve livelihoods and mitigate climate change, Zimplats has partnered ZAS with support from the Ministries of Mines and Mining Development and Lands, Agriculture and Rural Settlement in a rural capacity building programme,” said Ms Katunga.
“The programme will entail the creation of livestock incubation centres in Matabeleland North and South and Mhondoro, where training in sustainable livestock rearing and crop production will be undertaken. Thereafter the programme will be taken to the rest of the country.”
She said the first phase would target insemination of 6 000 semen straws to 3 600 cattle.
Ms Katunga said this should potentially produce 1 800 bulls and 1 800 heifers.
“The second phase will increase the total semen straws to 16 000. Once successfully running, the programme is expected to be self-sustaining in the long term,” she said.
Ms Katunga said artificial insemination has to be conducted carefully to be successful, hence it will be done clinically.
She said the programme would also empower communal farmers with better livestock rearing practices so as to ensure sustainability.
“The proposed initiative seeks to introduce livestock production methodologies that support general agricultural production, enhance environmental farming practices and deliberately grow an improved national herd through a nationwide insemination programme,” Ms Katunga said.