Panashe Nyamudeza and
The European Union (EU) funded Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment (VALUE) initiative will officially launch the Rushinga Goat Improvement Centre (GIC) on Wednesday next week.
The VALUE project is part of the EU funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP), in which the block will invest a total of €40 million (US$46m).
The project is expected to contribute towards the development of a diversified and efficient agriculture sector that promotes inclusive economic productivity.
The project, which was completed in December 2020, will be an essential commercial centre for small and medium goat producers and was funded to the tune of US$24 000.
The centre will offer a variety of services such as breed improvement, dipping, veterinary drug deals, sale of grain seeds and accumulation of bulk slaughter stock among others.
VALUE project team leader, Newton Chari said “Our objective remains to increase production, productivity, market competitiveness and organizational efficiencies of small to medium producers.
“Thus far we have found the goat improvement centres as hubs necessary to contribute to our objective which will ultimately lead to the commercialisation agenda.
“Importantly these centres are providing platforms for engagements with key stakeholders for the creation of conducive business environments in the districts”.
“The main focus of the project will be to increase profitability, capacity of farmers, service institutions, and lure private sector through increased investment, institutional reforms, and policy alignment.
Covering Zimbabwe’s 10 provinces, ZAGP is addressing weaknesses and gaps in livestock value chains to contribute towards increasing productivity, production, and incomes for farmers.
The project has constructed similar centres in 11 other districts namely Beitbridge, Binga, Buhera, Chikomba, Chipinge, Gwanda, Lupane, Matobo, Mbire, Mudzi, Nkayi.
“Rushinga goat farmers have started to realize the utility of the goat improvement centre. They are dipping their goats, accessing mating services, drawing lessons on animal nutrition from the fodder plots, and above all, seeing the benefits of collective marketing of goats. The potential for further success is evident,” said COSV country director, Tsuro Bore.
The Rushinga Goat Producers Business Associations (GPBA) business development officer, Regis Kasako said, “We are grateful for the support rendered by the VALUE project and the European Union (EU) in constructing this centre 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 with at least USD3 per goat.”
With financial assistance from the EU, 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 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, two bucks were delivered to each goat improvement centre for mating services under the management of the GPBA.