Live­stock farm­ers moan over stock­feed short­ages

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Manicaland & Mashonaland East - Man­i­ca­land Correspondent

FARM­ERS in Man­i­ca­land have raised con­cern over the short­age of stock­feed in shops, which is ham­per­ing ef­forts to in­crease pro­duc­tion.

Mr Tau­rai Mu­tangabende, a small-scale dairy farmer in Pen­ha­longa, said the stock­feed in­dus­try did not have ad­e­quate stocks to meet the needs of the live­stock in­dus­try.

He said for­eign cur­rency short­ages had neg­a­tively im­pacted on their dairy farm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties since they re­lied mostly on im­ported prod­ucts.

“We hope as small-scale dairy farm­ers to dou­ble milk sup­plies within the next five years, but we are fail­ing to im­port stock­feed, an­i­mal vac­cines and sup­ple­ments for cat­tle which has re­sulted in dwin­dling milk sup­plies,” said Mr Mu­tangabende. “Gov­ern­ment should put in place mea­sures that will as­sist us to in­crease milk pro­duc­tion.”

An­other farmer, Mr Obert Bungu, said their cat­tle were suc­cumb­ing to drought and they were un­able to buy sup­ple­men­tary feed af­ter shops hiked prices.

“Live­stock pro­duc­tion is an im­por­tant com­po­nent in agri­cul­tural devel­op­ment, par­tic­u­larly in the com­mu­nal ar­eas where cat­tle are the ma­jor form of draught power,” he said.

“How­ever, stock­feed shops should pro­vide us with enough feeds at af­ford­able prices.”

Feed­mix tech­ni­cal sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mr Fast Muronzi said they had been record­ing high sales of stock­feed in the province since the in­cep­tion of the Com­mand Live­stock pro­gramme and were fail­ing to meet de­mand from cus­tomers.

“The Spe­cial Live­stock, Fish­eries and Wildlife Pro­gramme has in­creased the de­mand for stock­feed, hence we are fail­ing to sup­ply enough feed since there is a short­age of for­eign cur­rency in the coun­try,” said Mr Muronzi.

He said his com­pany had seen an in­crease in de­mand for beef feed, mostly in Mutare and Chipinge dis­tricts.

Mutare Farmer Sup­ply agron­o­mist Mr Bryan Tiyai said they had been out of stock for more than three months be­cause Na­tional Foods was not sup­ply­ing them with the feed.

“We are turn­ing down our cus­tomers who usu­ally buy sup­ple­ments for cat­tle be­cause we are not re­ceiv­ing any beef feed from our sup­pli­ers,” he said.

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