HomeCommunity NewsDeclare pastures a national disaster, says ZCFU

Declare pastures a national disaster, says ZCFU

BY Bridgette Bugalo
A local farmers’ organisation has urged government to declare the shortage of pastures for livestock particularly in Matabeleland region a state of national disaster to facilitate increased aid towards the distressed animals.
The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union (ZCFU), a body that represents mainly black commercial farmers, said the region was facing a serious shortage of pastures and water for livestock.
Matabeleland is a prime ranching area, but due to a poor rainfall season most pastures have been exhausted and livestock, particularly cattle, are in distress, while deaths have been recorded.
“Matabeleland South has been affected by the increase of livestock diseases. There are also massive problems with water,” ZCFU president Donald Khumalo said.
“Furthermore, the government has not declared the livestock problem as a national disaster and because of this; we need work together until it is declared so that we are able to get funding.”
Khumalo said if the problem was not declared a national disaster, the national herd would be decimated, forcing beef prices up.
“As farmers, we need to be able to start working together so that when we are faced with such a calamity we can still stand for each other,” he said.
It is estimated that Matabeleland South has about 460 000 cattle, while Matabeleland North has just above 500 000, bringing the total in the afflicted provinces to about one million cattle.
The ZCFU president said he had been in talks with several institutions as well as non-governmental organisations inviting them to assist the farming sector.

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