ZIMBABWE – The Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP) has launched a project to upgrade the goat and pork value chain in 20 districts across the country, to increase economic opportunities for farmers in the sector.

The project is intended to operate under the Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment (VALUE) and has been organised by ActionAid Zimbabwe in partnership with Cooperazione per lo Sviluppo (COSV), Mercy Corps and others in the corporate sector.

Newton Chari, ZAGP VALUE team project coordinator said that this project intends to increase the capacity of smallholder farmers, output and productivity and improve their access to healthy markets to promote efficient operations.

VALUE’s objective is to boost market competitiveness and the commercial supply of safe and high-quality pork and goat meat products.

“The project interventions for the goat value chain include the identification and training of 1000 anchor farmers to assist small-scale farmers in 12 districts, the establishment of 2 goat holding centres at the Grasslands and Matopos Research Stations to allow abattoirs and supermarkets to buy goats in bulk, and the identification of 9000 additional small and medium-sized goat farmers,” Mr Chari informed.

The pork value chain interventions on the other hand will include the selection of 100 small-to-medium producers as primary members with shareholding status and investments in pork production business syndicates (PPBS).

Other interventions in the pork value chain are the identification and training of 400 pig producers by the anchor farmers and the support of 600 young farmers and women to upscale the domestic production of weaners.

Additional players in the goat and pig value chains, like research organisations, private companies, abattoirs, independent butcheries, and large-scale supermarket chains will be crucial in supplying services in both value chains for the project.

Dairy herd increases by 11.3%

Meanwhile, according to the latest livestock assessment report, the Zimbabwean dairy herd increased to 53,250 animals in 2022 from the 47,845 recorded in 2021, an 11.3% increase.

This growth was driven by interventions put in place by the government in collaboration with the private sector as well as development partners and has resulted in a steady increase in the nation’s annual milk production.

The report also revealed that the number of registered dairy entities has increased to 244  from 238 in 2021.

On account of the increase in milk production, the importation of milk powder and other dairy products has dropped by 17%.

The Zimbabwean government is working towards self-sufficiency in the dairy sector and is therefore pushing to cut the nation’s reliance on imports.

The government therefore recently proposed to gradually reduce milk powder and cheese imports in a sliding scale manner starting at 75% in 2023 to 50% in 2024 and 25% in 2025.

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