In the wake of a looming drought which is threatening livestock in Matabeleland South, an appeal has been made for supplementary feeding and the intervention of government to assist with drought mitigation measures.
Leaders in the province are calling for stakeholders to start working on mitigation measures to avoid loss livestock.
Secretary General of the Livestock Union, Mr Raphael Moyo said timely intervention measures could save the national herd.
He also said they have advised farmers to sell a few of their animals and procure stock feed and vaccines so as to sustain the rest of the animals.
The livestock farmers union said if there is no immediate intervention, over 50 percent of the national herd could be wiped out.
“What we need now is for government to come in and assist while there is time so as to support the initiative of farmers whom we have advised to sell a few of their animals and use that money to buy stock feed. Our prediction is that if we do not plan well we will lose over 50 percent of the animals so this is critical for us and the government,” he said.
Senator Chief Nyangazonke also encouraged the government to consider declaring a state of disaster in the livestock sector so that resources are mobilised with institutions such as Food and Agricultural Organisation coming in to assist as was the situation three years ago, where they provided survival ration stock feed to farming communities.
He appealed for support from the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to assist with relief grazing for farmers living next to national parks, especially those areas which have no buffalos.
“If the department of Zimparks could assist farmers by offering relief grazing, this would be a big part of the strategy to save the national herd but government is the main stakeholder here and it must lead in this intervention,” said Senator Chief Nyangazonke.
Water remains a major issue in saving animals and an appeal has been made for the relevant government department which deals with water to start drilling boreholes for the watering of animals and wildlife.