April - June 2016


Draught update

Draught update

ZFPA Launch

65 Years of

Mashona Cattle

Livestock and Meat

Advisory Council

& its allied associations



A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations

April - May 2016


Editorial – Taking stock 4

Drought update 6

ZFPA launch 7

Quail 9

65 years of Mashona cattle 11

Growing hides' stockpile 14

Bread, bran and the bigger picture 15




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Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations


A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations

Taking Stock


overnment' recent landmark Agency (DANIDA) funded Smallholder

decision to recognise Livestock (Beef) Sub-Sector Study carried

aquaculture as part of out by the Netherlands Development

agriculture has paved the way for fish Agency (SNV).

farming's expansion in Zimbabwe. It is Two-thirds of the national herd is now

now a livestock industry in its own right concentrated in the communal sector,

under the ambit of the ministry of where cattle are kept for multiple

agriculture, mechanization and purposes and offtake is generally low. In

irrigation development. some rural communities, offtakes of up at grassroots level to evolve into a unitary

Other new livestock entities have been to 13% over the last decade have been association.

established, reflecting growing interest in recorded, almost reaching the 15% Strong farmer associations and

the commercial rearing of different types offtake target set by government to grow organisational structures at the macro

of stock for sustainable livelihoods and the beef industry. level are vital to give cohesion, direction,

self-empowerment. The Rabbit Breeders Recognising the strong dairy farmer engagement and professionalism when

and Producers Trust and the Zimbabwe organisation in the country, the study serving the interests of livestock

Quail and Aviculture Association have observes that the Zimbabwe Association producers at all levels. Well organised,

recently been launched and a large of Dairy Farmers plays a critical role in member-owned associations deliver on

number of participants attended the providing technical extension, lobbying their mandate and give farmers a unified

events. and engagement and information voice to engage other stakeholders on

I n l i n e w i t h t h e s e e x c i t i n g transfer to dairy farmers. issues fundamental to the business of

developments, the annual Livestock The workshop to validate the findings farming.

Symposium in May will also include fish, of the SNV Beef Sub-Sector Study This is especially important in a year

quails and rabbits. This event provides a i d e n t i f i e d a n e e d f o r s t r o n g when many livestock producers are

learning and experience sharing forum organisational structures to build farmer fighting for survival--with some now

for livestock producers across the capacity in the beef sector. Noting the losing up to four cattle a day to drought.

spectrum. many initiatives to improve the There is a need for drought mitigation

That Zimbabwe's largest group of livelihoods of cattle owners at the micro, measures, for strategic planning and to

livestock producers, cattle owners, do meso and macro levels, the study use available resources to help people

not have an association of their own to emphasises the need for a strong beef survive as well as to save livestock.

represent their interests is highlighted in producer organisation—whether So who's going to look after our

the Danish International Development established as a national entity or initially interests then?


Livestock Today April-June 2016

A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations


Livestock Today April-June 2016


ish farming is a livestock

enterprise in its own right and

must be developed into a fullyfledged

agricultural industry in

Zimbabwe. This was highlighted at the

launch of the Zimbabwe Fish

Producers' Association (ZFPA) at

Exhibition Park on March 17, which

attracted a turnout of 206, eager to

find out more about fish production.

The formation of ZFPA under the

umbrella of LMAC brings aquaculture

formally into agriculture as part of the

livestock sub-sector.

The establishment of ZFPA comes as freshwater fish farm in Africa but less for human consumption. Aquaculture

Zimbabwe works to develop a fish than 5% of the 400,000 hectares is a form of commercial farming that is

capacity building strategy, under the suitable for inland aquaculture are non-consumptive in its use of water

EU-funded SmartFish programme. In a being used for fish production. and can be integrated into crop

project co-implemented by FAO, OIC Currently concentrated in commercial production or other livestock farming.

SmartFish is working with the ministry tilapia operations on Lakes Kariba, Fish farming has an important role to

of agriculture, mechanization and Chivero and Darwendale and rainbow play in Zimbabwe, in drought

irrigation to develop the country's trout farming around Nyanga, mitigation, agricultural production for

aquaculture potential, so that a q u a c u l t u r e r e m a i n s l a r g e l y sustainable livelihoods and food

Zimbabwe can also reap the benefits undeveloped. security, as well as contributing to

of the global Blue Revolution.

economic development through

“Fish farming in Zimbabwe is still in its processed fish exports.

Aquaculture—the world's fastest infancy,” Gerry McCollum, chairman Aquaculture is the fastest growing

growing food industry—can be of ZFPA noted at the launch of the agricultural industry globally.

developed into a major industry in association. “Fish is an industry that Fish have the highest food conversion

landlocked Zimbabwe at both small- people can get involved in and realise ratios - they produce more protein per

and large-scale levels. The country the enormous potential that exists for kg of feed.

holds 60% of all dammed water in the fish farming here in Zimbabwe.

SADC region and boasts the largest

To assist small-scale farmers to enter

“We have fabulous water resources the industry, ZFPA is working to make

and perfect climatic conditions for fish all the required inputs and services

farming. We have all the inputs, the accessible to farmers in one package.

right feed to grow fish commercially “We plan to roll out the same model as

and we need to take advantage of this the one used in the broiler industry, so

to grow aquaculture into a strong and as to support small-scale producers

burgeoning industry in Zimbabwe.” with a full package of inputs and to

provide farming advice,” explains

Government is ready to partner the Gerry McCollum.

new ZFPA to ensure the success of fish

farming in Zimbabwe, guest speaker, The vision to grow aquaculture in

Eng. Ringston Chitsiko, permanent Zimbabwe will focus on developing

secretary in the ministry of agriculture fish farming in areas with greatest

mechanization and irrigation, said at production and marketing potential,

the launch. By recognising that fish are greater use of the abundant water

livestock, to be farmed commercially resources and growing commercial

for food production and not just smallholder aquaculture in the country.

conserved in their wild state for Where there are no water bodies, there

capture, government has classified is scope for pond construction, the

aquaculture as part of the livestock basis of commercial smallholder fish


farming in Asia.

Fish can be farmed intensively; they are

efficient converters of feed into protein

A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations


- bringing aquaculture into agriculture

Picture Courtesy of African Fisherman

Picture Courtesy of African Fisherman

Malachite bream

In the warmer areas of Zimbabwe, not

as well suited to other forms of

Livestock Today April-June 2016 7

agriculture, fish can be

introduced as an alternative form

o f c o m m e r c i a l f a r m i n g .

A q u a c u l t u r e c a n p l a y a

complementary role in the fish

industry too, augmenting

livelihoods of capture fisherman

whose catches have been steadily

declining over the last decade.

A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations

Bringing aquaculture into agriculture

continued from page ...7

The ministry of agriculture,

mechanization and irrigation is

developing an aquaculture

capacity building programme for

Zimbabwe, with technical

assistance from SmartFish and


Calling on Zimbabwe to emulate

ZFPA is working to develop a

the example of some other

regulatory framework for

African countries, SmartFish

aquaculture in Zimbabwe, one of

Programme fisheries and

Picture Courtesy of African Fisherman

the few countries in Africa that

aquaculture advisor, Dr Blessing

does not yet have one, and to suited to high stocking in dams and Mapfumo, told the ZFPA launch

harmonise all legislation relating to ponds. Another key development is gathering: “Fish production requires

fish and aquaculture. “We also need the Aquaculture Quality Control the creation of an enabling

to establish production standards and Laboratory in Harare, to be equipped environment.” The continent's top six

benchmark with other countries,” says with EU funding under the SmartFish fish producers, Namibia, Zambia,

Gerry McCollum. programme. In a programme of Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and South

technical assistance to Zimbabwe Africa, have invested in aquaculture

The development in Zimbabwe of a started in 2012, SmartFish has development with stimulus policies

specialised fish feeds' industry in provided training in aquaculture, and development programmes that

recent years has improved tilapia v a l u e c h a i n a n d b u s i n e s s are building strong aquaculture

growth rates for the commercial development support, as well as trade industries in these countries.

farming of Africa's indigenous fish, and marketing studies and promotion.

A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations

These indigenous birds are productive, producing eggs

said to have twice the nutritional value of hen's ones and

they are quick to market.


apital Foods' launched its first clutch were males.

quail feed to a capacity Nevertheless her flock

crowd at the Andy Millar grew but the biggest

Hall in Harare's Exhibition challenge was the

Park on January 30.



These indigenous birds are productive, Capital Foods have

producing eggs said to have twice the solved this particular

nutritional value of hen's ones and they problem with a new

are quick to market. Their meat, similar range of balanced

to chicken, is said to give the grey nutrition for the birds

generation the energy to face another at various stages, plus

day: they are certainly a good source of a costing model so


people can budget


Mrs Woloza started farming quail three

years ago. She started with 50 birds It produces a layers'

and said they are easy to breed—but mash that is 24%

hard to sex and three-quarters of her protein. This reduces

to 10% protein after

three to four weeks.

After six or seven

Quail eggs contain twice the goodness of hens' ones.

weeks they move onto a finishing diet “To move from the office to raising

so they no longer lay. The broiler food quail was difficult but thanks to this little

contains 18% protein.

bird, my family manages to eat and to

pay school fees. If we are good to these

“We did not vaccinate and somehow birds, they will look after you.”

they did not die,” Mrs Woloza said.

“We also did not know how long to Capital Foods also launched feed for

incubate the eggs but we managed. roadrunners. With the worldwide move

The biggest question was: 'Who is the to organic food, the price of

market?' I can tell you: we are the r o a d r u n n e r s i s i n c r e a s i n g

market. It is a sweet bird and, like all exponentially, so this is a good market

Quail, an indigenous bird now

meat, it is important to eat it fresh. to investigate as well.

being intensively farmed.

Would-be quail farmers crammed the Andy Millar hall to find out how to raise these wild birds.

Livestock Today April-June 2016 9

A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations

Mashona Cattle Society marks 65 proud years



nce scorned for their small

size, Zimbabwe's Mashona

cattle are today recognised

as one of the world's most productive

and resilient bovines. This unique

indigenous breed—saved by the

Mashona Cattle Society from genetic

dilution 60 years ago—is to be

adopted as Zimbabwe's baseline cattle


“More than ever, we recognise the

value of the little Mashona as we

experience the effects of climate

change,” Joseph Sikosana, director of

Livestock and Pastures Research in the

Department of Research and Specialist

Services told the 65th AGM of the

Mashona Cattle Society in December


Adapted over thousands of years to efficient conversion of grass to beef and Ranch, one of the largest commercial

the harsh African environment, the also in the dairy industry to boost beef enterprises there, Mashona have

Mashona has been genetically production fo r n ational milk sufficiency. outperformed other breeds over the

improved for greater productivity by This breed is proving its worth in other last five years, achieving a 98%

Mashona cattle breeders working in African countries too. pregnancy rate against the ranch

conjunction with the Zimbabwe Herd “On-farm results from Mozambique average of 57%. The Dombe Mashona

Book (ZHB). show that Mashona are still the most Herd is the highest performing herd on

The Mashona breed has a significant productive cattle on veld”, MCS veld grazing in Mozambique,

role to play in farming today—in chairman Dr Doug Bruce told the surpassed only by cows on pasture.

climate mitigation strategies, society 's 2015 AGM. On Dombe

continued on page ...11

Livestock Today April-June 2016 11

A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations

Mashona Cattle Society marks 65 proud years

continued from page ...9

Twenty years on, this corroborates the Zimbabwe's Mashona breed has also The Indibreed Group Breeding

results of Zimbabwe's most extensive attracted interest in the United States, Scheme, operated by the society for 10

cattle breed comparison trial at w h e r e t h e e m p h a s i s h a s ye ar s, w as established to speed up

Matopos Research Station in the traditionally been on breeding larger Mashona genetic selection and forms a

1990s, where the Mashona was animals. Crossbreeding work in New nucleus herd; in a scheme also

unrivalled on natural veld. During “the Mexico has shown that Mashona cross designed to feed improved stock back

worst drought in living memory” in steers were the only animals to turn a into communal herds for genetic

1992, it was evident that the Mashona profit on natural grassland with no improvement.

were able not only to survive adverse supplements. In meat analysis tests, this

conditions but to produce a calf again “true grass breed” scored a high Today, working in conjunction with

the following year. flavour rating and showed good ZHB, Zimbabwe's Mashona cattle


breeders continue to improve the breed

“Kilogram for kilogram, Mashona

for greater productivity and resilience

cattle will give more kilos of calf, per In Zimbabwean cattle research and under climate change—one of the

kilo of cow put to the bull,” notes Dr evaluation, the adoption of the greatest challenges to global

Bruce. On the role that the Mashona Mashona as the baseline breed is a agriculture.

can play in the dairy industry today, the proud achievement for the MCS, which

MCS chairman says. “We can in 1968 initiated the first research work - From the Mashona Cattle Society.

crossbreed for hybrid vigour, with sexed on indigenous cattle

dairy semen to produce hardy, good in the country to

milkers for communal farmers.” demonstrate that

indigenous cattle

The MCS has also devised a breeds can also be

programme to help interested small- genetically improved

scale farmers to become fully w i t h s e l e c t i v e

registered pedigree breeders. In this breeding. In the

open appendix system, new breeders 1960s and 70s the

can register with the Zimbabwe Herd society campaigned

Book (ZHB) and work with the MCS to to save the Mashona

upgrade their foundation Mashona breed from genetic

cows to fully registered stud animals dilution in a massive

over three generations.

A .I. programme

intended to improve

The value of Zimbabwe's Mashona all communal cattle

breed is well recognised today. It is with exotic cattle

understood that the Mashona's small genes, a misguided

size is part of its survival mechanism, policy.

evolved over thousands of years for

productive efficiency under harsh To make best use of

environmental conditions. These Zimbabwe's fine

include heat tolerance, resistance to cattle heritage, new

ticks, flies and parasite infestation, high Mashona genetics in

fertility and reproductive efficiency, a the communal herd

lower maintenance requirement as well must be identified to

as foraging ability and strong teeth for broaden the gene

optimum utilization of the veld and pool for breeding, a

efficient conversion of grass into beef process begun by the

or milk. MCS in the 1990s.

Livestock Today April-June 2016 13

A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations




stockpiles of

hides at

Zimbabwe's - Rethinking the export of hides and skins

abattoirs highlight the

deepening crisis in the

hide-to-leather value chain.

This has been precipitated

by concurrent crashes in the

local and international hide

market and the introduction

of an export surtax to

protect home industry that

translates into almost 90%

of the current international

market price, making it

sub-economic to export


In the current economic

slump, the local tanning

industry is not able to take

up its quota of hides for

value addition under the Shutterstock

Zimbabwe Leather Sector

Strategy (2012 –2017). Far also calling for an increase

Hides outside a shoe store

it is sub-economic for continue to decline, with

from stepping up beneficia- in the export quota from abattoirs to export hides reduced demand for hides

tion to the targeted 75% of 25% to 40% with no from Zimbabwe. and a decrease in local

raw hides and skins, local restrictions on exports when Global market prices for market prices. It is feared

tanneries are only able to the local market is unable both raw and wet blue that mounting stocks of

absorb a small percentage to take up its quota. Some hides have plummeted to hides at abattoirs will lead

of flared hides and are 60% of Zimbabwe's raw their lowest level for several to further hide spoilage.

offering prices ranging hides meet quality years. The crash in the local Money realised from

from 12% to 50% of specifications for the market prices is even more hides could be ploughed

international market prices, international wet blue hide drastic, with prices falling back into a Leather

which have also plummeted

Development Plan

in the international hide The competitiveness of the tanning industry to build the capacity of

market crash.

must be strengthened, so it can play its role in tanneries to operate viably,

“The Abbatoirs

strengthening the whole

Association of Zimbabwe value addition, outlined in the Zimbabwe leather value chain

(AAZ) fully supports local

Leather Sector Strategy

AAZ is also proposing to

value addition and

establish a Leather Industry

recognises that the local market. by as much as 50% in Fund from a fair hide levy

tanning industry must have In October an export 2015. that will be ploughed back

first priority on hides,” surtax of 15% or $0.75/kg The competitiveness of into developing the leather

emphasises AAZ chairman, — whichever is the tanning industry must industry to strengthen

Godrey Chanetsa. greater—was imposed on be strengthened, so it can tannery competitiveness. It

“Beneficiation is important the export of raw hides play its role in value would be modelled on the

to grow the Zimbabwean under the 2015 Mid Term addition, outlined in the Dairy Revitalization Fund to

economy. Fiscal Policy Review Zimbabwe Leather Sector grow the home dairy

“But where good quality Statement. At the same Strategy industry, which is funded

hides are going to waste time, export tax on hides “In the whole equation, from the 10 cents a litre

because the local market is was extended to the 25% there is a need to restore levy on all UHT milk

not able to use its quota, export quota not reserved competitiveness in the local imported into Zimbabwe.

we feel there should be for local tanners in the tanning industry,” explains Revenue generated from

flexibility to allow us to Zimbabwe Leather Sector Chanetsa. “Local tanners tax on raw hide exports is

move these stockpiles of Strategy (2012–2017). must be competitive; not not being channelled into

hides and sell them on the In the global hide market under-price hides in order building the leather

international market,” says slump, this effectively to survive at the expense of industry.

Chanetsa. means that there is a tax on abattoirs and farmers who AAZ members account

AAZ proposes reducing all hide exports, which produce the raw materials for some 70% of formal

the export tax to a equates to 88% of the for this industry.” sector cattle slaughters and

reasonable percentage of international market prices. High processing costs are the largest producers of

the export parity price. It is At $0.05—0.10 cents a kg, have seen tannery profits hides in Zimbabwe.


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A Magazine for Livestock and Meat Advisory Council & its allied associations

Livestock Today April-June 2016 15




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