The government in partnership with European Union (EU) is set to officially open a goat project in Rushinga, Mashonaland Central to boost the local meat value chain in the country.
The project is part of an EU-funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP), a response to tackle challenges within the country’s livestock sector through financial support from the EU amounting to €40 million.
In a statement, the European Union (EU) funded Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment (VALUE) project will be officially launched next Wednesday, 10 November 2021.
The center, which was completed in December 2020, is a primary business hub for small and medium goat producers constructed to the tune of US$ 24000 offering various services such as breed improvement, dipping, veterinary drug sales, sale of fodder seed, aggregation of bulk slaughter stock.
The project has constructed similar centers in eleven other districts namely Beitbridge, Binga, Buhera, Chikomba, Chipinge, Gwanda, Lupane, Matobo, Mbire, Mudzi, Nkayi.
The VALUE Project Team Leader,Newton Chari said the main objectives are to increase production, productivity, market competitiveness, and organizational efficiencies of small to medium producers
“We have found the Goat Improvement Centres as hubs necessary to contribute to our objective which will ultimately lead to the commercialization agenda. Importantly these centers are providing platforms for engagements with key stakeholders for the creation of conducive business environments in the districts,” said Chari.
With financial assistance from the European Union, ActionAid Zimbabwe, together with its goat value chain implementing partners; COSV, Mercy Corps, Zvikomborero Farms, and Michview Enterprises imported 312 goat breeding stock from Namibia to address production challenges caused by the use of inferior breeds and inbreeding.
The breeding stock was distributed among four institutions for multiplication namely Zvikomborero Farm, Michview Enterprises, Matopo, and Grasslands Research Institutes. Furthermore, 2 bucks were delivered to each goat improvement center for mating services under the management of the Goat Producers Business Associations (GPBAs).
The Rushinga GPBA Business Development Officer, Regis Kasako said farmers are grateful for the support rendered by the VALUE project and the EU in constructing this center which has addressed various challenges we were facing in the district.
“We are now dipping our goats, accessing veterinary drugs, growing fodder crops, and selling our goats collectively and directly to consumers, this has increased our profit margins by at least USD3 per goat,” Kasako.