from MORRIS BISHI in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
CHIREDZI, (Lowveld Post) – HUNDREDS of cattle have succumbed to drought that battered Chiredzi district and the entire lowveld last season.
The region is the country’s main beef producing area.
There are fears of more losses if the drought emanating from poor rains, which resulted in depleted pastures, persists.
Aaron Muchazivepi, the Masvingo Provincial Crops and Livestock Officer, disclosed that 300 cattle had been lost mainly in Chiredzi and Mwenezi.
In Chiredzi, 135 cattle died in October only.
“Grazing is no longer available in those areas,” Muchazivepi lamented.
Muchazivepi also raised concern that water sources were drying.
“We urge farmers to consider destocking by selling older stock so that they buy stock feeds,” he advised.
Muchazivepi urged the industry to consider subsidizing the price of stock feed to enable farmers to afford it.
Speaking to Lowveld Post, Chief Tshovani (born Felix Mundau) said villagers were at risk of losing more cattle if the dry spell continued.
He also appealed for supplementary stock feed from government and its partners to avert the crisis.
The district, which has a population of 176 810 cattle, only received 60 tonnes of supplementary stock feed from non-governmental organisation, Plan International.
A source at the district`s livestock office revealed this was only enough for 11 days.
– Lowveld Post