Tanyaradzwa Mutizwa Herald Correspondent
THE Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment (VALUE) has imported 245 pig breeding stock from South Africa to help farmers improve their breeds.
VALUE is a project under the European Union (EU)-funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme running from 2019 to 2023 championed by ActionAid Zimbabwe and focusing on the goat and pig value chain.
It is targeted at benefiting over 80 000 goat farmers and more than 56 pig farmers.
The breeding stock consists of grand-parent and parent-stock of Duroc, Landrace and Large white breeds.
VALUE team leader Mr Newton Chari told The Herald last week that the pigs, which were under a 21-day quarantine at the Pig Industry Board (PIB), will address breeding level system constraints that have affected farmers in attaining the desired productivity, organisational efficiencies and market competitiveness.
“We are grateful to the Government and the European Union for supporting this noble initiative,” he said.
The top quality genetics are coming at a time the majority of small-scale farmers have expressed interest in accessing improved genetics.
After the quarantine period, the pig breeding stock will be housed at Shamiso Farm (Mashonaland East Integrator) and Bradford Farm (Mashonaland West lntegrator), while the other pigs will remain at the PIB.
Farmers can access the genetics through these institutions in the form of boars and gilts or through artificial insemination services.
Department of Veterinary Services principal director Dr Josphat Nyika said the pig breeding stocks came at the right time when small-scale pig producers were struggling to get high quality breeding stocks.
“These feeding stocks will be multiplied through breeding programmes and small-scale farmers will buy improved breeds that will help in improving their yield potential,” said Dr Nyika.