Govt takes $300m command livestock to Matebeleland

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Government recently launched the Command Livestock, Fisheries and Wildlife programme which will be funded to the tune of $300 million through public private partnerships.

The programme was launched in Gwatemba in Insiza District in Matabeleland South. It is a follow up to command agriculture that was introduced at the start of the 2016 – 2017 farming season following the drought.

The latest initiative is meant to revitalise communal livestock and production, and promote aquaculture and wildlife management.

Speaking at the official launch which was attended by about two thousand people, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said funding the bulk of the funding for the programme came from private entities.

“Government has since identified funding for the tune of over US$300 million for the special livestock, fisheries and wildlife programme for the Matabeleland provinces,’ said Chiwenga.

“In this regard, the US$220 million of the required US$300 million would be sourced from the private sector while the balance will be funded by the government. Government has already set aside US$80 million towards the livestock programme”.

Companies that are funding the programme include Zimplats, Zimbabwe Agriculture Society, and Sakunda Holdings.

Sakunda Holdings donated $10 million which will be shared equally by farmers in Matabeleland South and North. The energy company also donated 2 million chicks per month which will be distributed to farmers in the two provinces.

Vice President Chiwenga also revealed that liberation war veterans are also set to benefit from the programme.

“We also want to extend this programme to our colleagues, the ex-detainees and to the war veterans those were injured during the war and are incapable of assisting themselves,” said Chiwenga.

The programme will also entail the creation of Livestock Incubation centres where training in sustainable livestock rearing and crop production will be undertaken.

The first phase will target inseminating 6000 semen straws into a livestock population of 3600. This should potentially produce 1 800 bulls and 1 800 heifers.