/Productive assets creation by the Chiredzi, ZAGP-BEST beef producers

Productive assets creation by the Chiredzi, ZAGP-BEST beef producers

Productive assets creation by Chiredzi beef producers under the ZAGP-BEST project.

Name of farmer.GenderAgeAsset purchased with cattle sales proceeds.LocationHerd size
Aaron TsumeleMale73TractorTsumele Village, Ward 1035
Daniel MuzamaniMale70TractorMunengwani Village, Ward 1026
Philip MakondoMale51Pick up motor vehicle truck.Ingwani Village, Ward 1041

District of action: Chiredzi.
A departure from humanitarian based, development work, the ZAGP BEST project is supporting small scale, communal farmers in Zimbabwe to generate wealth from beef production. The project is a partnership between the European Union and the Government of Zimbabwe and is being implemented by four Zimbabwean NGOs including Sustainable Agriculture Technology (SAT). SAT is implementing the project in Chiredzi, Mwenezi, Umguza and Lupane districts. In Chiredzi, SAT is promoting market based, commercial beef production and the project is driven by Montana Carswell Meats, a Zimbabwean private company.
The project has established six Cattle Business Centres (CBC) which are serving as commercial hubs for beef production business in Muhlanguleni, Dakali, Chanienga, Machoka, Muchena and Chirove areas of Chiredzi. The CBCs provide lucrative output market opportunities for small to medium scale farmers who also access critical services and inputs such as cattle feed, drugs and medicines and training services.
While the BEST project facilitated the marketing of more than 650 cattle as direct sales through the cattle business centres in Chiredzi, it is the feeder finance program by the same which has generated a lot of excitement among stakeholders. The feeder finance initiative, a first of its kind in the district, is a collaboration between the BEST project, MC Meats (Off-taker), First Mutual Finance (Financier), National Foods and Windmill (inputs providers). Since inception in 2019 to date, 110 farmers (85males and 26 females) in Chiredzi accessed loans (Through the BEST project) under a feeder finance scheme and sold more than 314 271 fattened cattle which generated total sale proceeds of USD 123,373.00. The feeder finance initiative has been hugely successful in Chiredzi district, some of the notable success stories of farmers who have excelled include the following:

Aaron Tsumele, a farmer in ward 10 received $ 8 423 after making 22 head of cattle direct cattle sales at Muhlanguleni main CBC and afterwards $2 360 from five head of cattle which he sold under the feeder finance scheme. Aaron expressed satisfaction with the cattle grade prices which he received from CBC cattle sales when compared to what he used to get before the project. From these proceeds, the farmer managed to have his long broken-down Toyota Hilux 2.4D car repaired and further went on to import a brand new Massey Ferguson 178 tractor from South Africa valued at R138 000 plus transportation costs of R25 000.
The farmer had this to say “The BEST project has brought a very necessary intervention by facilitating construction of this (CBC) structure. Now we are into real cattle business. We have much cattle in this area but in the past it was not easy to do any meaningful business without any lucrative markets. My dream to own a tractor has finally came true and I will be using it for my cattle production business as well as to generate income hiring it out ”

Delighted Aaron Tsumele (in white T-shirt) and two family members with his new tractor

Daniel Muzamani, a cattle farmer, fattened seven head of cattle during the 2020 fattening cycle. His ultimate desire was to buy a tractor but he felt he needed to test viability of the feeder finance scheme with an initial seven cattle first. He received a total of US2,440.00 and was satisfied with the returns after which he decided to save the money while waiting for the next fattening window. Using the knowledge gained from BEST project supported trainings, the farmer selected and set aside five steers from his herd for fattening during the 2021 cycle. During the 2021 fattening cycle, Daniel was one of the very first farmers to bring his cattle to the CBC for induction.
The farmer realised a total of USD4,047.00 and from these proceeds, having used about USD47.00 to purchase vet drugs and a few other inputs. He made use of the total sale proceeds from the two fattening cycles to import a tractor from South Africa for R95 000 together with a two disc tractor drawn plough for R18 500. Transportation costs for the transaction were R30 000. “ If you told me five years ago that I would be the proud owner of a brand new tractor, I would have never believed you, what we are experiencing under the project is life changing”.