Runesu Gwidi

Masvingo Bureau

Farmers should create active associations to lobby for better cattle prices and eliminate the participation of middlemen some of whom fleece farmers during cattle sales, the Veterinary Services Department has said.

The department was worried about spread of cattle diseases as unscrupulous middlemen defy the Government ban on unauthorised cattle movement, especially in areas where there have been cattle diseases outbreaks.

In an interview on the sidelines of the agro-stakeholder meeting in Masvingo recently, Masvingo provincial veterinary services officer Dr Krammer Manyetu said the Government had put in place a raft of measures to eliminate middlemen in cattle sales.

“Part of the main highlight of the summer season preparatory meeting was to fix the issue of middlemen in cattle sales as Government has put in place stern measures to deal with them,” said Dr Manyetu.

“It is also worrisome that the culprits have become ‘super-spreaders’ of livestock diseases. They continue to defy orders by the Veterinary Services Department to stop cattle movements in the event of disease outbreaks in some areas.”

In Masvingo, cattle sales middlemen have been telling farmers that some cattle diseases are “unpreventable and incurable” as a way to stampede farmers into getting rid of their cattle low prices. The Government has urged farmers to be wary of such dealers.

Meanwhile, Dr Manyetu said efforts were underway to supply of dipping chemicals and tick-grease to Masvingo and other provinces under the Presidential Tick Grease Scheme.


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