Members of Parliament have called for livestock financing as the sector continue to suffer from inadequate funding over the years.
This comes at a time when Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlements reported in November that more than 4,500 cattle died in Matabeleland South Province, a 500 percent increase over last year.
Speaking in parliament, Wednesday, Umzingwane Member of Parliament, Levi Mayihlome urged the finance ministry to consider funding livestock financing and associated programmes.
“The second point is the issue of livestock financing. Unlike other commodities livestock sector has suffered inadequate funding over the years and we urge the Ministry to consider funding livestock financing and associated programmes related to livestock productivity separately,” said Mayihlome.
“In the past when we talked about livestock development, we only talked about foot and mouth disease control and research which is not visible on the ground but the livestock farmer expects to be able to get a loan to purchase stock and be able to sell stock.
Mayihlome added: “Cold Storage Company used to have that arm of livestock financing but it is now virtually not there. we request that it be resuscitated.”
In addition, Southerton Member of Parliament, Peter Moyo said there were no implements following that a number of cattle were lost during the year.
“We do not have implements and we have lost a lot of cattle especially this year. The budget in terms of implements and the purchase of cattle, goats and sheep should be additions to the budget because we have had a serious drought this year,” said Moyo.
In 2017, the government introduced the Livestock Development Levy. The levy introduced through Statutory Instrument 129 of 2017 was targeted businesses involved in the production of day-old chicks, the buying of raw milk and the slaughtering of beef cattle.