Pen-fattening key for livestock farming business

28 May, 2023 - 00:05 0 Views
Pen-fattening key for livestock farming business

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri , Business Reporter

EFFORTS to resuscitate the country’s livestock sector should be anchored on empowering farmers with adequate knowledge so that they start treating farming as a business and produce quality animals that gives them value and aid economic growth.

Speaking at a Pen Fattening and Animal Health training at Mbokodo Feedlot yesterday, National Kraal director and livestock specialist, Mr Christopher Magona said cattle pen fattening was a very lucrative business.
“Cattle pen fattening involves the feeding of beef cattle with a protein balanced, high-energy diet for a period of 70 to 120 days under confinement to increase live weights and improve degree of finish and thus obtain better grades at the abattoir. It also enables the animals to express fully their genetic potential for growth. Hence, as National Kraal we are moving around the country training farmers to take livestock farming as a business,” said Mr Magona.

He said the training complemented efforts to resuscitate the livestock sector by the Government that continue to gather traction, to boost production and satisfy national demand for both human consumption and industrial use.

Mr Magona said most farmers were underutilising the land they have, while with the proper training in a space of about three hectares, they could be able to run a business of 1 000 livestock.
He added: “We are trying to bridge knowledge gaps around certain aspects that are important for profitability and to cut knowledge barriers on how much land and resources farmers need for their livestock farming business to thrive.”

He said Zimbabwe’s livestock sector, especially the beef industry was poised to become a major player in the global market and contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.
Esigodini-based cattle breeder, Mr Obert Chinhamo of Biano Simmentals Farm said the training was an eye-opener for farmers.

“Professional assistance when you are doing livestock farming as a business is critical. With the right assistance, farmers are able to avoid unnecessary losses while being profitable.
“There are a number of advantages in feedlot management as it is a more economical way to raise a large number of cattle for beef production. Animals housed on feedlots are fed and raised on less land which cuts costs,” he said.

National Kraal Cattle farming Workshop

Upcoming farmer, Ms Jabulile Sibanda said with the knowledge acquired at the training she was able to map forward her business in livestock farming.

“I have learnt that cattle fattening is very profitable when done the right way. The profitability of the cattle pen fattening business depends on the buying price of the cattle, cost of the feed, price margin, feed margin, feed conversion efficiency ratio, unit cost per kilogramme when selling. With this knowledge l will be able to start my business with ease,” she said.

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