Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
GOVERNMENT supports the production of quail birds (zvihuta), as this improves nutrition and livelihoods of people, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
He said Government had never banned the production of the quails, but was against poaching of wild birds and eggs.
Responding to questions in Parliament on the alleged ban on production of quail birds on Wednesday, VP Mnangagwa said people had misunderstood Environment, Water and Cimate Minister, Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri.
“When Government has put in place legislation on something which is or is not permissible, there is a procedure that is followed. When Government bans something it is gazetted. There is no policy that is publicised only through the media, Government policy is in written form.
“What some people do not understand is that there are two types of quail birds.
“There are those that are allowed in this country and those who domesticate them and sell the eggs are doing it legally. There were others who were moving around the wild taking away quail bird eggs, we are not happy about that.
“There is a way of rearing quail birds commercially, carrying out your quail birds project and selling to hotels, but we do not allow people to poach quail birds in the national parks,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa said there was no policy that had been put in place to ban projects on quail birds.
“The birds are very delicious, we enjoy the quail birds,” he said.
Officiating at a livestock field day at Mountain Home Farm in Mazowe on Wednesday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister responsible for livestock, Paddy Zhanda said domestication of quail birds was under the Livestock Production Department.
He said Government supported production of the birds and this was in line with the national economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.
“We encourage production of the quail birds as this boosts nutrition and also improves the livelihoods.
“Zimbabwe has been lagging behind other countries that are producing the birds.
“The birds are good in terms of nutrition,” he said.
There had been an outcry in the country when rumours spread that Government had banned the breeding of the quail birds.
The birds became popular with some people claiming that they had medicinal properties.
The supposed ban made the birds popular especially on social media where the bulk of the jokes that have been circulating this week concerned the quail birds.