CHIPINGE – Livestock farmers in Chipinge are increasingly getting worried by the rising cases of stock theft in the district.
This came out at a livestock show organised by the Department of Agriculture, Research and Extension Services (Agritex) in collaboration with a development partner, International Rescue Committee (IRC) at Mabhiza Business Centre on July 17.
A club that consists of 200 women hosted the show and took the opportunity to exhibit the breeds of goats that bring huge profits to breeders in the Lowveld.
Various aspects of good goat breeding techniques like animal health, nutrition and shelter were presented to farmers. Guest of honour was district agriculture officer Tapiwa Chagwesha who was represented by Benson Musinake.
Checheche Livestock Traders Association, represented by Gideon Chiororo (pictured), said stock theft was militating against the growth of livestock business in the district.
“Stock theft is affecting butchery operators as farmers lose cattle meant for business. We urge farmers to work hand-in-glove with traders so that we help each other curb stock theft in this area,” said Chiororo.
Agriculture extension officer Medline Ngwendu, who coordinates the livestock breeding project at Mabhiza, said water problems in the area contributed immensely to the problem.
“When the water table is low, farmers drive their livestock to Save River which is far away from the villages. On the way, they lose their stock,” said Ngwendu.
Chipinge Rural District Ward 24 Councillor Wishes Hama called for stronger policing of the area to deter would-be cattle rustlers.
“As a female councillor, I am pleased by this goat project which is being undertaken by female farmers but it’s sad that there are people stealing from them. I want to see people who steal livestock being punished severely,” said Hama.
Speaking at the same occasion, Chipinge South Member of Parliament (MP) Enock Porusingazi urged farmers to devise their own ways of protecting their livestock and help the police to arrest thieves.
“We see people with no known sources of income drinking expensive beer every day. They lead extravagant lives and we therefore must ask ourselves where they are getting the money from,” said Porusingazi.