Story by Lisa Masuku
GOVERNMENT has commended local companies for burning the midnight oil to produce animal dipping chemicals saying the move will help reduce livestock deaths.
Coopers and Shumba Group of Companies are producing dipping chemicals and tick grease to control the January disease that has claimed over 500 000 cattle in the last two years.
This was revealed during a tour of the facility in Bulawayo this Wednesday where Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Deputy Minister Honourable Davis Marapira led a delegation that included the Chief Director of Veterinary Services Dr Josphat Nyika to assess the company’s capacity to supply the nation with adequate dipping chemicals.
“This visit confirms that Coopers is producing adequate dipping chemicals and tick grease that Zimbabwe needs to contain the outbreak of the January disease that has killed a number of cattle in some parts of the country especially in Insiza District. We are so happy that all the medicine that is needed to manage these disease is available locally and this is a good investment by the company as it speaks to the government’s vision of growing the national herd,” he said.
The company’s project executive Professor Joseph Kamuzhanje said they are working with communal farmers to mobilise local resources which are key in strengthening government efforts to boost the national herd.
“We are working with communal farmers to mobilise resources and do bulk procurement of acaricide which is the key chemical needed for dipping purposes and this has seen a marked reduction of cases of the disease, a process that has seen farmers growing their herd in line with government’s vision of empowering people through sustainable animal husbandry projects,” noted Kamuzhanje.
The control of the January disease is set to expand the livestock value chain and support livelihoods, especially in major cattle rearing areas such as Matabeleland North and South, parts of Midlands and Masvingo Provinces.