Welcome to Issue 29 of ZAGP News, the newsletter for the European Union (EU) funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP).
During the official opening of the Live Bird and Egg Market and Butchery facility in Mutare in September, Benjamin Meki, the Chairperson of the Manica Inclusive Poultry Association remarked, “This is a major milestone for us as poultry producers. For years, we have been struggling to sell our live or dressed chickens and eggs and we ended up relying on middlemen who offer us lower prices than what is prevailing in the market. The opening of this market place as well as the butchery means that we now have a reliable market for our produce”.
This development is in line with one of the key outcomes of ZAGP, to ensure that livestock products have better access to markets and are more competitive. Livestock producers’ market access is hindered by their small-scale operations, weak technical capacity, high vulnerability to diseases and difficulty in obtaining appropriate market information. They are also constrained by lack of access to inputs and finance, their remote location, high transportation costs, and the lack of business skills.
In this issue, we focus on ZAGP’s interventions on effective market-based livestock production approaches which have the potential to increase output in terms of quantity, quality and prices; and improve margins for all the actors in the value-chains leading to increased production, productivity and profits.
The projects focus on increasing access to profitable markets for livestock producers. They have established support infrastructure to improve physical access to markets. Support has also been extended to other critical components of the value-chains such as production, processing and marketing covering players such as the producers, processors, retailers, and other service providers.
Direct marketing is also being promoted by the associations and organised farmer groups. The interventions have promoted inclusive business linkages between producers and the market and leveraging private sector integrators to provide markets and business support services. Better access to markets allows producers to reliably sell more produce, with better quality and at higher prices. This, in turn, encourages farmers to invest in their own businesses and increase the quantity, quality and diversity of the goods they produce.
Finally, in the Livestock Policy Tracker section, focus in on pricing under the dairy-value chain, analysing the impact of the current milk pricing system on milk producers in Zimbabwe.