MANGWE District has been chosen for a pilot programme to grow pasture under an Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) initiative.
At least 2,000 hectares have been set aside for the project. Arda Board chairperson Basil Nyabadza said the ideal land for the project had been identified near Ingwizi Dam in Mangwe District.
He said the programme would first be implemented in Mangwe before moving to other districts. Under the programme, high grade grass would be grown for sale to livestock farmers at affordable prices throughout the year.
“We recently announced that we will be introducing a project of developing pastures in Matabeleland South province in a bid to improve the performance of livestock in the region and we have identified Mangwe as the pilot district.
“An aerial and ground survey has been conducted and we have identified 2,000 hectares of land near Ingwizi Dam. “The project will further move to other districts but the ideal location has to be close to a reliable water source,” he said.
Nyabadza said they had identified an investor who had shown interest in the project that is expected to kick off soon. He said Mangwe District had been chosen to kick-start the programme as it was rich in livestock rearing.
Mangwe MP, who is also Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Obedingwa Mguni, said the main reason behind the poor performance of the livestock sector was shortage of grazing land.
“Mangwe has been one of the best performing districts under livestock production until recently due to a shortage of good grazing areas. Once these pastures are established then livestock farmers will have access to quality grass and they will be able to sell their cattle at competitive prices,” he said.
Source: The Chronicle