50 000 cattle succumb to diseases

HARARE - At least 50 000 cattle succumbed to diseases in the past 12 months, amid fears that more will die if the shortage of dipping chemicals persists, legislators have said.

In its report, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement said underfunding the department responsible for animal production and health has grave consequences for the economy.

The MPs report presented in Parliament during debate on National Budget, bemoaned underfunding in most departments under the Agriculture ministry.

“The committee also notes that this underfunding is coming at a time when about 50 000 cattle died due to different animal diseases, including tick-borne diseases between December 2017 and November 2018.

Because dip chemicals need to be imported, the firms that won the tender to supply dip chemicals have not been able to get the requisite allocation from the RBZ. Thus, the ministry’s bid had tried to factor this into account so that cattle could dip,” reads the report.

The committee said it was worried that cattle are not dipping at a time when government also owes Botswana Vaccine Institute about $6 million.— FARMERS’ VOICES

Comments (1)

Here is the irony of it all! The ruling Junta were all over the country buying cattle from one part of the country to give to another part in the name of Command livestock. They failed to realise that to boost cattle numbers you need to deal with mortality rates first through provision of dipping chemicals and other vaccines. Pfee!

Mwalimu - 2 January 2019

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