By Alois Vinga
A DONOR group has availed stock feed set to benefit up to 4 500 cattle in drought hit Beitbridge district.
The programme being spearheaded by Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) PROGRESS which is supported by the Lands Ministry.
Funders under the ZRBF include the European Union (EU), the Embassy of Sweden, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Department for International Development (DFID.
The initiative is part of adaptive programming to resilience building efforts through protecting development gains by the consortium.
The supplementary livestock feed which is targeting 14 Wards in the district, is expected to protect cattle which are targeted under the breed improvement efforts through artificial insemination (AI).
The ZRBF PROGRESS Team Leader Sylvia Khumalo said the provision will go a long way in improving the health of livestock in the area.
At least 2 250 households will directly benefit from the interventions being implemented with an estimated 9 000 bags being issued to 2 animals per farmer each receiving 2 bags for a month.
The provision is expected to reduce the burden on women who are travelling for long distances to feed the livestock in greener pastures.
Beitbridge District Principal Administrative officer Jahson Mugodzwa expressed gratitude over the cattle feed saying they will go a long way towards alleviating livestock hunger in the area.
“A special thanks to the PROGRESS team for the relief and farmers have also been taught how to produce feed on their own. For this season, we have relief though it’s short term. As we progress, we hope to shape up long term projects.
“The challenge in Beitbridge is that usually there is nothing in terms of grazing pastures hence the need for more stock feed,” he said.
The PROGRESS team is composed of IRC, CESVI, BIOHUB Trust, MRI (Matopos Research Institute), CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre), working in collaboration with the AGRITEX Department and the District Veterinary Services under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Other projects being implemented by PROGRESS under the ZRBF include Non-Timber Forestry Products, Mechanization, Youth empowerment, High value cash cropping, among others.