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Panic grips Mat South farmers

by Gibson Nyathi
08 Jun 2019 at 06:52hrs | Views
Farmers in Matabeleland South have been gripped by panic after 4000 cattle have died due to drought.

According to provincial livestock experts, the drought is likely to wipe out almost half of the herd in the province.

The province holds about 700 000 cattle.

The most affected areas, according to officials, include Gwanda, Beitbridge, Matobo, Bulilima and Mangwe districts.

John Sibanda, a farmer in Matobo said they have been advised to either reduce their herds or move their livestock to other areas.

"We were told that almost 80 percent of the province has been adversely affected by drought and we have an option to cull our herds or translocate them for the duration of the drought," he said.

Widow Mavis Ndlovu from Gwanda said some unscrupulous live stock traders were already on the prowl with offers for the cattle.

" They have started coming with bags of maize in exchange for our livestock and this drought has put us in a vulnerable situation because its either we sell or watch our livestock die," she said.

A cattle buyer in Beitbridge who denied to reveal his identity justified the low amounts offered for the cattle.

" We need to appreciate that this is a business and these cattle are already thin. You cant but thin cows for high amounts only to pen feed them before sending them to the market. We will incur losses," he said.

Source - Byo24News