Goats Donation for Rushinga District
By Marsha Sengwe
THE Government initiative meant to improve rural households’ nutrition and income generation through commercialised goat production was launched last Saturday in Rushinga District.
The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Anxious Masuka, in a speech read on his behalf by a director in his office responsible for livestock production, said the scheme targets vulnerable households; child-headed families, families headed by disabled persons, as well as the chronically ill.
He said: “Livestock is a pivotal subsector within the agriculture industry, not only as a key income-generating enterprise for farmers, but also for a whole range of socio-economic benefits which it provides.
“These benefits contribute to the achievement of the National Development Goals, in particular under the NDS1 and Vision 2030 – of becoming an upper middle income society.”
The national outcomes of interest from the livestock sector are nutritional security, increased incomes, economic growth, employment and livelihood support.
Under the Presidential Rural Goat Scheme, every beneficiary is getting a doe, each village head a buck, to serve the does in the community.
Each headmen shall also receive two bucks whilst each chief gets three bucks.
The beneficiaries will be supported with training in animal husbandry.
To improve marketing, aggregation centres will be developed in each area and will be manned by farmers (farmer associations/co-operatives) or individuals.
These centres will provide markets for goats thereby preventing farmers from falling into the hands of unscrupulous goat buyers who dupe farmers most of the time.
Apart from increasing household incomes, the programme will also improve nutrition in the targeted households through increased protein, thereby fighting malnutrition.