WASHINGTON DC —
Zimbabwe has proposed to set aside $10 million to support livestock production as drought continues to decimate the national cattle herd and goats, particularly in Matabeleland, Midlands and Masvingo regions.
Presenting the 2014 national budget in parliament on Thursday, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the money will be part of the $50 million being mobilized by the government in conjunction with Agribank for on lending to A2 farmers at concessionary rates below 9 percent.
Chinamasa said the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also committed $11.5 million in support of livestock production.
Zimbabwe’s cattle herd currently stands at 5.2 million supporting the beef industry. The industry has over 80 registered abattoirs with a capacity to slaughter 1.5 million cattle per year.
Independent development worker Everson Ndlovu commended Chinamasa’s move to revive the livestock sector.
But he told VOA Studio 7 such programs should benefit everyone not just supporters of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
Zanu-PF activist and political analyst, Morris Ngwenya, said the proposed $10 million fund will benefit every Zimbabwean.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Paddy Zhanda said Chinamasa’s budget can turn around the economy.