The Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement, Hon Vangelis Peter Haritatos, has officially opened the European Union, EU funded ZAGP VALUE project facilitated Rushinga Goat Improvement Centre.
The event was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Vangelis Peter Haritatos and also present at the event was the European Union country representative for Agriculture, Environment and Private sector development, Benard De Schrevel; the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, and Devolution for Mashonaland Central, Hon, Monica Mavhunga; Members of Parliament in Mashonaland Central; the VALUE Project Steering Committee Chairperson, Mr. Joy Mabenge; farmer reps from other operating districts, private sector players and other delegates.
Speaking at the event, Hon. Hon Vangelis Peter Haritatos, said that Goat Improvement Centre would be very instrumental in ensuring that the Government of Zimbabwe achieves its National Development Strategy, NDS1, goals and targets and ensure that goat production in Zimbabwe is enhanced.
Hon Vangelis Peter Haritatos said that the Goat Improvement Facility will be used to promote on-farm feed formulation and help farmers significantly reduce the cost of goat production as feed alone constitute between 60 and 80% of the cost of goat production.
Deputy Minister Haritatos said that the farmers need to “intensify goat dipping measures to prevent and control the entry and outbreak of animal diseases.”
The goat improvement project should also “help strengthen the goat pass-on schemes”, said the Hon Haritatos.
Communal area livestock management systems are a product of indigenous knowledge, farmer objectives, economic pressures and affordability. It is, therefore, not surprising to see that most of the “standard recommendations” are modified to meet these realities. The subject is broken into the following sections:
General management systems
Grazing management systems
Feeding and finishing systems
Smallholder dairy production systems
Drought management systems.
Zimbabwe has over the years not been able to produce enough livestock inputs and veterinary vaccines and medicines noted Hon Haritatos and added that the VALUE project should organize the farmers into business associations whose operations are predicted at Goat Improvement centres is in line with government efforts to promote the sustainable and permanent growth of small and medium livestock players.