/Action Aid Zimbabwe Celebrate Launch of Pig Artificial Insemination Station In Chegutu

Action Aid Zimbabwe Celebrate Launch of Pig Artificial Insemination Station In Chegutu

Action Aid Zimbabwe Country Director and VALUE Project Steering Committee Chairperson, Mr. Roy Mabenge has hailed the official launch of the Artificial Insemination station at Braford Farming, as part of the Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment (VALUE) Project Steering Committee, driven by the European Union supported Zimbabwe Agriculture Growth Program.
Speaking to delegates Mr. Mabenge said that, “when we set out developing the project model, it was immediately clear to us that the challenges bedeviling the small and medium pork producers were mammoth, requiring both patience and expertise to surmount.”, adding that, “On the production side, the scarcity of breeders in and around producers’ geographical areas was a great cause for concern to us and the pig industry at large. Our immediate priority was to intervene andMr. Mabebge said that the programme, “importation of 244 top quality breeding stock from South Africa. These were put in the custody of three breeder farms including Braford Farm, Shamiso Farms, and the Pig Industry Board to propagate and pass on to the small and medium scale farmers at competitive prices.
To date, 341 pigs in the form of weaners, breeding gilts, boars and over 3400 doses of semen have been sold as at end of September 2021 in the Mashonaland East and West production corridors. The completion of the Artificial Insemination station for the Mashonaland West production corridor will witness an increase in semen uptake thus boosting production and improving access to these supreme genetics among the pork producers.”
The Action Aid Zimbabwe Country Director said that, under the project, they, “carried out a scoping study of the pig and goat value chains to ascertain performance and key areas that required our intervention. One of the areas highlighted was capacity gaps especially among youth and women farmers. As a project we have a very important component to address this through the weaner to finisher model. I am happy to report that trainings have already begun in collaboration with the Pig Industry Board. We however still face some difficulties in securing meaningful loan facilities to kickstart the programme for the trained youth and women. The cost of money remains high and prohibitive to start up farmers as it potentially wipes out their hard-earned profit margin. “Also responding to the findings from the scoping study, over the last year we have responded to the high cost of feed, which takes upto 80 or 90 per cent of production costs. We engaged experts in the field of feed research to undertake applied research into affordable alternative on farm feeds. The results of the research showed that with on farm feed formulation, farmers can reduce feed costs by close to a third as compared to using straight feeds.
Mr. Mabebge also revealed told the delegates that, “The primary focus of VALUE interventions was to organize farmers, improve their genetics through injection of superior breeds, reduce feed cost, lower transportation costs through provision of two ten-ton trucks (one of which you have seen during the tour), expand slaughter, processing, and cold chain facilities thereby increasing net incomes for commercial oriented small to medium producers. In this regard, I am happy to inform you, esteemed delegates, that the project registered 1178 pig producers in Mashonaland East and West who now form the Provincial Pig Producers Business Syndicates – associations driving collective action along the entire value chain.”

The AI project is hoped to transform themselves into meat cooperatives that supply pork meat and products to greater Harare markets and beyond.
In the interest of time, let me conclude by challenging the Mashonaland West pig producers’ leadership here represented to take full advantage of the investments made available by the government, European Union, and private sector in this project to grow to unprecedented levels.