President launches multi-million dollar cattle ranch project
Conrad Mupesa, Harare Office
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will today launch a $ 15 million cattle ranching project in Mhondoro which is part of the country’s efforts to boost the national herd under the Livestock Growth Plan, which aims to bring the sector to $ 1.9 billion by 2025.
The multi-million dollar cattle project is led by private players – Zimplats and Palmline Investments.
The Livestock Growth Plan is part of the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, which aims to achieve an agricultural economy of US $ 8.2 billion by 2025, which also anchors and propels Zimbabwe towards Vision 2030 to become an upper middle class economy.
Raising the cattle herd from 5.4 million in 2019 to 6 million in 2025 with a beef production of 90,000 tonnes and a milk production of 79.9 million to 150 million liters are some of the objectives of the Growth Plan of breeding.
The program also aims to increase the national dairy herd from 38,000 in 2019 to 60,000 by 2025.
The Livestock Growth Plan, which was launched by President Mnangagwa last year, is also expected to provide solutions to the challenges facing farmers and pastoralists through support from government, private actors and partners in development.
The platinum giant has entered into a joint venture partnership with Palmline Holdings on a project focused on commercial beef and dairy cattle that will be mined under Zimplats’ mining lease to Mhondoro-Ngezi.
In a statement, Zimplats said the project is expected to deliver a commercial beef herd of 5,000 cattle, including the Wagyu breed, with an annual beef production of 1,400 tonnes.
“At peak, we plan to produce 630 tonnes of Wagyu beef for export, a dairy herd of 5,000, produce 25 million liters of milk per year by 2026, construction of a modular milking parlor for 1,500 dairy cows in one go. To support the dairy herd, it is planned to develop 320 hectares of irrigated pastures (the first 30 hectares are already in place) ”, reads the press release.
It is estimated that the Palmline Investments project will contribute up to 30 percent to close the current gap in the national milk supply, reducing the gap from 25 million liters / year to 17.4 million liters per year.
Already a herd of more than 2,500 cattle, both cattle and dairy, is on site in Mhondoro-Ngezi and Bromley.
“Palmline Investments will develop 320 hectares of irrigated pasture for 1,500 dairy cows for phase 1 and 1,200 hectares for the full development when completed.
“The pastures will include a combination of ryegrass, clover and chicory. This combination will provide most of the nutritional needs of the cows, especially protein, as well as mass and carbohydrates, reduce production costs and provide a natural ‘head down’ grazing behavior for the cattle, ”the report says. communicated.
Surrounding communities will be engaged to join the project and will benefit from improved livelihoods, with the main areas of intervention being job creation, crops, improved pasture, herd health and health. ‘quality improvement.
Animal production in Zimbabwe is an important source of income and a safety net for hundreds of thousands of people, especially women and rural youth, and contributes significantly to agricultural GDP.
After the launch of the Livestock Development Plan, the government stressed the importance of running the livestock sector like a business to ensure that it contributes significantly to the socio-economic growth of Zimbabwe.
The key strategies of the Livestock Development Plan include an animal nutrition program; a genetic improvement program; an animal health program; a program of adaptation to climate change and small livestock; the development of market and trade infrastructures; and resource mobilization.