Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Farming Reporter
THE Government will soon roll out its Command Livestock Programme to other forms of animal species, an official said.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Deputy Minister Paddy Zhanda who is responsible for livestock production said the Command Livestock Programme which was kick-started through a fisheries programme would be spread to other forms of domesticated animals.
“The Command Livestock Programme is a process, it was easier to start with the fisheries because the water was there and the fish (fingerlings) were also there. I am sure anytime, very soon other forms of stock will be included and well when we talk of the livestock industry obviously the big brother are the cattle,” said Dep Minister Zhanda.
He however, could not be drawn to divulge when other forms of livestock would be included under the Command Livestock Programme.
However, the Government has set sights at rolling out a $150 million livestock programme covering restocking, equipment, pasture development and resuscitation of the Cold Storage Commission.
To date the Government has distributed 700 000 fingerlings in 20 districts across the country as part of Command Fisheries launched by President Mugabe at Tokwe-Mukosi Dam in Masvingo in June.
The National Command Fisheries programme is being spearheaded by the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) and is in line with Government’s policy blueprint, Zim Asset’s food security and nutrition cluster.
It seeks to contribute towards the provision of food, thereby alleviating poverty and promoting good human health through improving dietary habits.
Zimbabwe is producing about 18 400 tonnes of fish mainly from dams such as Kariba, Chivero, Darwendale and other private fish farmers.
If all the local dams could be fully utilised, the country has potential to increase fish production to almost 1,5 million tonnes per year.
Information made available by Zimparks indicates that if all local dams were fully utilised to produce fish, the fisheries industry could support more than 1,2 million people throughout the country at the primary production level. -@DNsingo