'Animal husbandry to revive agric sector'

HARARE - Platinum mining giant, Zimplats, says it is committed to revive Zimbabwe's agriculture sector by supporting animal husbandry.

“Cattle farming still has great potential for reforming the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe,” the company said.

Zimplats, which recently launched a cattle artificial insemination programme targeting 6 000 semen straws into a livestock population of 3 600 to boost the national herd, added that it was keen to play a part in ensuring communities are empowered through agricultural activities.

“Agriculture and mining rely upon one another to prosper and they both rely on natural resources in order to create wealth and enhance well-being. While the two sectors may often compete for resources, the Zimplats-sponsored initiative has seen the convergence of two key economic drivers, mining and agriculture,” the company said.

Guided by the need to promote sustainable interventions to empower and develop communities, the partnership will ensure adequate capacity building opportunities through the artificial insemination training and the resultant extension services that the trained officials will take to the community. Communities will benefit from the trained officials who will also impart knowledge on livestock rearing and production.

Zimplats head of corporate affairs Busi Chindove stated that the programme reaffirms the company’s position and commitment to developing partnerships which lead to a net positive impact on society.

“This livestock revitalisation project therefore opens up the company to investing in a sector which contributes to enhancing food and nutrition security for the country. In the spirit of sustainable development, mining and agriculture must co-exist harmoniously to ensure they both contribute to economic transformation,” she said.

In February this year, Zimplats launched a livestock revitalisation initiative marking the company’s commitment to buttressing government efforts in reviving productivity in the agricultural sector.

The initiative involves the drawing of semen from bulls that are exhibited at the Harare Agricultural Show and the semen is used for artificial insemination of indigenous breeds to improve cattle genetics. Zimplats, as the funding organisation is working with the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society and the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services as the technical partners who will administer the provision of the semen straws, monitor project implementation and coordinate community training and awareness sessions.

Last week, the platinum producer held a three-day artificial insemination training to build capacity in livestock revitalisation efforts.

Zimplats noted that being able to successfully perform artificial insemination is a life skill and a career for many artificial Insemination technicians. It is also a prerequisite in today’s world of quality beef and dairy farming as a way to improve herd genetics.


 

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