By Stephen Ephraem
CHIPINGE: Low cost feeding techniques for cattle has seen livestock farmers in the Lowveld area of Chipinge smile to the bank following a program that was that was availed to them by a agricultural development partner.
Dubbed Feed the Future Zimbabwe Livestock Development Program that is bankrolled by USAID and implemented by Fintrac, the plan seeks to economically develop cattle farmer in beef and dairy production.
Feed the Future Zimbabwe Livestock Development Program in collaboration with Kurima Machinery and Technology held a three one-day field days at Matikwa (ward 26), Mutema (ward 3 rural) and Mawunganidze (ward 1 rural) in Chipinge which saw farmers being equipped with how they can use low cost feed as well as modern technology in their business.
Mr Norman Deruko and his wife Victoria Pencil of Maparadze in rural ward 29 revealed that low cost supplementary feeding has done wonders for them.
“I have increased our stock from 10 to 32 in the three years. We have since sold 14 cattle and managed to drill a solar powered borehole at our home,” said Mr Deruko.
“We planted about 2 ha of velvet beans and we have managed to realise 16500 RTGS from the sale of 750kg of the product. The proceeds have helped us complete the construction of our home,” said Victoria Pencil.
Mr Alec Muchini of Manesa, Mutema communal lands rural ward 3 said the scheme has helped him increase his breeds.
“I use two breeding methods, artificial insemination and in-calf heifer procurement. I did artificial insemination to 14 cattle and 7 managed to produce calves. I also bought 12 heifers and out of these 9 have bred thanks to the use of low cost supplementary scheme,” said Mr Muchini.
During the field days, Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender, Small and Medium Enterprises, represented by Miss Nyaradzo Homela encouraged more women to enter into livestock production.
“We are glad to see that women are already participating in livestock production. We urge more women to take up the business and apply low-cost supplementary feeding techniques as Feed the Future is teaching farmers,” said Miss Homela.
Kurima Machinery and Technology urged farmers to use modern day technology in the growing and processing of low-cost supplementary feeds.