State optimistic about meat exports


Ministry of Agriculture says in the near future the country will  realize its potential of becoming a meat exporter in Southern region.

Senior Livestock production officer in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Ellison Musimuko said this is because of the intervention made by government to separate the Ministry of Livestock from the Ministry of agriculture.

He said in an interview that government has undertaken various policies and embarked on various programme to increase production across the country and feed the yawning market in the Southern Region and Saudi Arabia which was in demand of goat meat.

Mr. Musimuko said the Ministry had adopted a product similar to that under the Ministry of Agriculture to which animals were being bred and sold to farmers at a subsidized rate.

He also said the Ministry was stocking and restocking animals across the country.

“In areas such as Southern Eastern and western, we have a big population of animals. We are restocking meaning that we have intensified with our sister Ministry through science by defeating disease outbreak because in such areas we lose animals in numbers because farmers stopped Deeping their animals. We are stocking animals and conducting vigorous campaigns,” Mr.Musimuko said.

He said the Ministry had partnered with the World Bank, IFAD and enhanced small Livestock holdings programme (ESP) to invest and improve livestock numbers which include goats, village chicken and quails

Mr Musimuko said the Ministry was aware of the consequences of investing in new improved livestock.

He said the Ministry was putting up a legal framework and was encouraging that Zambian farmers explored local animals breeding instead of rushing into growing of exotic animals which will be difficult to manage.

“Bill Gates from the United States is also interested in funding a project looking at improving the Village chickens in Africa, but the question arises on what type of chickens,” Mr Musimuko said.

He said the legal frame work once put in place will ensure that dilution of local genetic animal resource is avoided.