Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Parliamentarians, Cdes Albert Nguluvhe (Beitbridge East) and Ruth Maboyi (Beitbridge West) have called on Government to urgently avail stockfeeds under the drought relief initiative to save over 100 000 cattle which are now susceptible to the effects of a devastating drought in their areas.
According to the Department of Agritex, over 400 cattle have succumbed to drought in Beitbridge since the start of the 2018-2019 farming season.
The legislators made the remarks while addressing villagers at Chabili and Dite areas during Zanu-PF victory celebrations.
They said the state of livestock and pastures was deplorable.
“We are appealing to Government to assist farmers with a stockfeeds to save our livestock,” said Cde Nguluvhe.
“We have been hard hit by drought and most of the people here rely on livestock production as a source of livelihood.”
Cde Maboyi said the drought situation had also been worsened by the drying up of natural water sources in most areas in rural Beitbridge.
“Our people are feeling the effects of drought, and we hope the Government will come to the rescue,” she said.
It is cumbersome for people to worry about their welfare and that of their livestock. In some instances, the livestock farmers are willing to supplement feeds, but they can’t access that food.”
Cde Maboyi said it was critical for development agencies and the District Development Fund (DDF) to repair non-functional boreholes to improve access of water for both humans and livestock.
Zimbabwe livestock farmers’ union chairman Mr Sifiso Sibanda said; “It is advisable for the farmers to sell part of their animals to buy stockfeeds that would last them up to the next rainy season.
“Our encouragement is that they sell the old cows and oxen as well as those that are prone to abortion (not productive at all).”