Community members offloading the centre pivot equipment at the Balu Cattle Business in Centre in Umguza district.
The Beef Enterprise Strengthening and Transformation (BEST) project received equipment for centre pivot at Balu Cattle Business Centre (CBC) in Umguza district, Matabeleland South province. The Balu CBC is one of the two sites that will grow commercial fodder under the ZAGP. Fodder production helps increase farm carrying capacity, insures beef farmers against drought. It is also the cheapest available cattle feed resource and it is high quality to fatten cattle for slaughter without using bought-in concentrates. Use of fodder reduces cost of beef production substantially. When production costs are low, the farmer gets high gross margins, hence increased profits. The net effect of low production costs is reduced prices for beef on the market, with resultant increase in per capita beef consumption.
Farmers in Umguza will have access to improved pasture grasses from Balu CBC to feed their cattle. They will benefit through seed material and training on fodder production through a pluralistic extension model involving private and public sector agents. Training will include conservation, storage, marketing and utilization of fodder. Selected champion farmers will pilot commercial fodder production where they will multiply fodder seed for sale, sell fresh forage, hay and related products.