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Zimbabwe’s Animal Husbandry Renaissance: Agriculture’s Cornerstone – IH Securities Report

A Comprehensive Analysis of Zimbabwe’s Thriving Livestock and Fisheries Sectors

In the heart of Zimbabwe’s agricultural landscape, a quiet revolution is taking place, and financial services firm Inter Horizon Securities (IH) has taken note. Their recent agriculture sector report for 2023 sheds light on the remarkable growth and transformation of animal husbandry, signaling its pivotal role in both agriculture and the livelihoods of Zimbabweans.

A Flourishing Livestock Landscape

IH Securities’ report unveils impressive statistics. The goat population has surged by a remarkable 14% to reach 4.87 million, while sheep have grown by 2.53% to about 730,000. Pigs, too, have witnessed robust growth, boasting an 8.05% increase, totaling 339,644. These numbers represent a tangible testament to the vitality of animal husbandry in Zimbabwe.

The Backbone of Local Agriculture

Animal husbandry is not just a practice; it’s a lifeline for many Zimbabwean farmers. The report underscores that livestock serves as a safety net for communal households, supporting families and communities across the nation. Cattle, in particular, play a crucial role, with 75% of communal farmers relying on them for tillage. Cattle contribute a substantial 10.81% to the country’s agricultural GDP.

Challenges and Opportunities in Beef Production

Despite its potential, the beef export industry has faced challenges, largely stemming from disease control issues. IH Securities highlights that deficiencies in disease control systems have curtailed beef exports since the 1990s. However, the report notes a 2% growth in the national beef cattle herd in 2022, emphasizing the government’s ambition to achieve a national herd of six million cattle by 2025.

Dairy Sector on the Rise

Zimbabwe’s dairy sector, once a formidable player, is making strides toward recovery. The report points out that the dairy herd has increased from 33,000 in 2005 to 53,250 in 2022. This growth translates into a 15% rise in raw milk production to 91.4 million liters in 2022. While demand for milk and its products stands at 120 million liters, the sector still relies on imports to bridge the gap. Challenges include high feed costs and low producer prices for milk.

The Ascent of Fish Farming

In addition to traditional livestock, the report highlights the burgeoning fish farming industry. With approximately 11,000 small-scale fish farmers, fish farming is on the rise. As of 2022, there were 7,247 fish ponds, marking a 29% year-on-year increase. Tilapia, a resilient and adaptable species, leads the way in this thriving sector.

Nurturing Zimbabwe’s Agriculture

IH Securities’ comprehensive report on animal husbandry underscores its central role in Zimbabwe’s agriculture and the livelihoods of its people. As the sector continues to grow and evolve, it presents both opportunities and challenges. With strategic planning and investments, Zimbabwe can harness the full potential of animal husbandry to drive economic growth and ensure food security for its citizens.

The original article was written by TAFADZWA MHLANGA for Newsday

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