The ZAGP team welcomes you to the 31st issue of ZAGP News, the newsletter for the European Union (EU) funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP).
In this issue, the main focus is on Goat Improvement Centres (GICs) implemented under the Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment (VALUE) project. We cover the activities under the Beitbridge and Gwanda GICs. Goat producers in the two districts are reaping the rewards of utilising the services offered at the centres. Through the Goat Producer Business Association (GPBAs) they have formed, the face of goat production is changing the two districts and overall, in all the 12 districts where VALUE has established GICs.
The GPBAs are structured to coordinate and drive the commercial interest of goat farmers to access value-adding business support services and previously unaffordable technologies through collective action strategies.
Goat production in Zimbabwe is mainly practiced by smallholder farmers and the national goat herd is estimated at 3.3 to 3.4 million. The majority of the smallholder farmers rarely breed goats on a commercial basis, despite the demand and potential to export goat products. Challenges that hinder the growth of the sector include: lack of good animal husbandry practices, lack of access to breeds that improve quality and quantity; unstructured marketing; low commercialisation; lack of integration; poor networking and weak institutional frameworks.
We share stories from the farmers and other key stakeholders, highlighting the successes so far in the operations of Beitbridge and Gwanda GICs.
Also in this issue, under the Policy Monitor, we unpack the cost of compliance policy research carried out to reveal the cost of compliance in the Pork Value Chain (PVC).
The study was conducted by the Value Chain Alliance for Livestock Upgrading and Empowerment (VALUE) project to collate data on the costs of compliance by the PVC actors resulting from various regulations and provide recommendations to policy makers in government where change was needed.
The various regulations in the PVC that had cost implications from input supply, production, marketing, slaughter, processing, wholesaling, and retailing of pork and its products.