ZIMBABWE - Rural farmers in Zimbabwe and the whole of Southern Africa are set to receive a major boost in their livestock production through the expected launch of the beef value chain finance initiative this year.
The initiative, whose pilot project was successfully undertaken in Swaziland, includes a loan scheme for smallholder farmers who want to take up beef fattening for the market.
This came out during the on-going International Conference on Livestock Value Chain and Access to Credit being held in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
The conference is being hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in partnership with the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (Swade) and the Micro Finance Unit, Swaziland (MFU).
The beef value chain finance initiative would see farmers working as business entities, apply for loans from financial institutions, construct feed lots housing for at least 25 cattle and fatten these using locally available water sources to grow forage on two hectare plots for feeding the animals.
Under the initiative, farmers can earn at least US$15000 after a circle with the beasts going to the market at 15–18 months of age.
Source: The Herald
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