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Zimbabwe national herd drops

by Staff reporter
10 Jun 2020 at 07:57hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE'S national herd dropped by 5,7% to 5,4 million cattle last year due to drought among other challenges, a government report has said.

In 2018, the figure stood at 5,8 million.

The second round crop and livestock assessment report for the 2019/2020 season compiled by the Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement ministry shows that the average national cattle mortality rate increased to 9% in 2019.

The national calving rates ranged from 34% in communal areas to 46% in the large-scale commercial sector against a national target of 60%.

"Grazing availability is critical in some districts of Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, southern districts of Midlands and Masvingo where it is expected to last up to July. In most districts of Mashonaland and Manicaland provinces, available grazing is expected to last between four and eight months," the report read in part.

"Water for livestock is available in most districts but shortages are expected in the traditionally dry parts of Midlands and the southern provinces before the next rainy season. Dipping was generally inadequate at the time of the second round livestock assessment as a result of insufficient supplies of dipping chemicals."

The report noted that the open market and abattoirs were the major markets for live cattle, sheep and goat sales. Regulated livestock markets which offer better returns were mainly limited to Masvingo and Matabeleland provinces.

The number of beef cattle slaughtered at registered abattoirs decreased by 12% to 235 018 last year while the average national off-take rate for cattle was 6% and off-take for sheep and goats was 9% and 11% respectively, against a target of 15%.

Total milk production rose by 6% to 80 million litres in 2019.

Meanwhile, a total of 74 million day-old broiler chicks were produced in 2019, a 19% decline compared to the 91 million chicks produced in the previous year.

An estimated 24% increase in table egg production was recorded in 2019, compared to 36,4 million dozens the previous year.

The report also noted that pig slaughters at abattoirs increased by 11% to 192 747 in 2019 from 173 694 in 2018.

"High stockfeed prices are affecting enterprise viability," it said.

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Source - newsday