In Zimbabwe it is cultural and prestigious to own large herds of generally unproductive cattle that consume the scarce veterinary, nutritive, and spatial resources for low returns.
The USAID funded and Fintac implemented Feed the future Livestock Programme implemented in Chipinge district in Manicaland province in Zimbabwe, has leveraged the Herd Rationalization Model in which smallholder beef farmers have been tought to keep productive cattle so that they quickly breed and the farmers realize quicker returns and competitiveness.
Speaking to a group of journalists on a media tour of the district, the Fintrac Senior Communications Specialist Mrs. Emeldah Takaona said that, “many smallholder farmers unknowingly keep very old bulls, cows and excess oxen that compete with the productive herd for drugs and feed.”
Mrs Takaona said that her organization introduced the Herd Rationalization model to encourage farmers to keep more females and less bulls and oxen in a 70:30 ratio in favour of the females.
The farmers are encourage to sell off, replace or swap the non-performing animals with heifers or in-calf better performing breeds and keep one bull for every 25 cows, and a few oxen for drought power.
“Maintaining this herd ratio coupled with adoption of good livestock production practices such as low cost supplementary feeding, and primary health care, has allowed the herd rationalization programme to perform well in the district.
For more please contact:
Senior Communication Specialist
Feed the Future Zimbabwe Livestock Development Program
Suite 1 Westgate House West
Westgate Shopping Complex
Office +263 242 309050
Mobile +263 778 294188