Article originally published by The Herald - 13 May 2023
ZIMBABWE’s beef industry is undergoing a transformation thanks to the impact of the Beef Enterprise Strengthening and Transformation (BEST) programme under the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP), which has established 10 main and 48 satellite cattle business centres(CBC) across the country’s rural areas since project was started in 2019.
The project is currently being rolled out districts such as Buhera, Chiredzi, Gokwe South, Kwekwe, Lupane, Makoni, Mt Darwin, Mwenezi, Shurugwi and Umguza.
The BEST programme is connecting cattle farmers with markets, providing them with access to critical services and resources and ultimately helping to boost the profitability and productivity of the beef industry.
Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) agricultural economist, Dr Reneth Mano on Thursday said with the support of BEST, Zimbabwe’s cattle farmers were realising the potential of their land and livestock and contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.
“These centres act as hubs for cattle farmers, providing them with access to critical services such as veterinary care, artificial insemination and market information,” he said.
Farmers can sell their cattle at the CBCs without paying anything save for the US$1 that goes towards the maintenance of the infrastructure.
“Prices for cattle are determined by auctions, bidding by buyers, as well direct selling to abattoirs while prevailing market prices are used,” he said.
The CBCs are managed by the private sector and act as livestock agribusiness hubs with supporting infrastructure, where farmers can access extension, input and output marketing and financial services.
“Physical infrastructure constructed at the CBCs include solar powered boreholes, 60 herd capacity feedlots, biogas digesters, storage rooms ,offices, livestock input sales facilities among others,” said Dr Mano.
Zimbabwe’s beef industry is well poised to become a major player in the global market and contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.