Private sector urged to partner govt in livestock finance facility

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

ZIMBABWE’S private financial sector has been urged to partner government in coming up with a commercially viable and well-structured livestock finance facilities for the production of quality breeding beef and dairy cattle.

Livestock and meat advisory council economist Reneth Mano told NewsDay that Zimbabwe needed to boost the quality of her breeding beef and dairy cattle.

“The country does not have abattoir-capacity problem, but is facing supply-side challenges in stimulating the growth of its commercial cattle herd on grossly undercapitalised newly-resettled A1 and A2 farms,” he said.

“To optimally capitalise these A1 and A2 cattle ranches and dairy farms, there is need for the private financial sector to partner government in coming up with a commercially viable, appropriately structured livestock finance facility that offers medium-term loans for the purchase of quality breeding beef and dairy cattle, as well as ancillary infrastructure for commercial livestock production,” Mano said.

Mano said the addition of 300 000 quality breeding beef cattle and 100 000 quality dairy cattle over the next five years would increase the commercial supply of quality beef and quality hides by 150 000 heads (13 500mt export quality beef, 3 750mt export quality raw bovine hides).

“Command livestock programme was on the right track, but needed strong private financial sector partnership for commercial sustainability and optimisation of commercial outcomes while minimising adverse selection and moral hazards that ordinarily compromise State-managed agricultural finance facilities,” he added.

Mano said Zimbabwe had about 150 licensed livestock abattoirs across the 10 provinces, with a combined commercial slaughter capacity in excess of 500 000 cattle per year.

“Zimbabwe slaughters about 270 000 cattle heads for the commercial beef market every year,” he said.

Mano said private abattoir companies had invested heavily in modernising their cattle, poultry and pork abattoirs, with most of the facilities now export certifiable.

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