President launches US$15m cattle ranching project

Staff Reporter

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday launched a multi-million dollar hybrid cattle ranching joint venture project being implemented by mining company Zimplats, a subsidiary of Australian listed Implats and Palmine Holdings.

The joint venture project which targets a herd of 5000 beef and 5000 dairy cattle is set to transform local communities in line with President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is open for business mantra and is a worthwhile investment initiative being spearheaded by the private sector in complementing government programmes.

“Speaking during the launch, President Mnangagwa said the fruition of the joint venture is a shared responsibility of both public and private sector and that Zimbabwe in unity is achieving its set goals.

“The fruition of the joint venture is a confirmation that sustainable and inclusive development of our great country is not only the responsibility of government. It is a shared responsibility of the private sector, development partners and all citizens alike.

“On its part, my government will accelerate the modernisation, industrialisation and growth of our economy in collaboration with the private sector and other investors. In unity, we are achieving our set goals. Brick by brick, we are building the Zimbabwe we all want,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa said the cattle ranching program would give impetus to the fulfilment of the agriculture and food systems transformation strategy which targets the attainment of a US$8.2 billion agriculture economy by 2025.

He said the project also targets semen production for both the domestic and export markets, while the beef cattle will consist of a commercial herd for domestic consumption and the high value Wangyu breed for the export markets.

Dairy output is targeted at 25 million litres of milk by 2026.

“The introduction of a dedicated 320 hectares of irrigated pasture is an emerging farming model which guarantees availability of feed for livestock. Construction of a modular milk parlour with capacity to handle 1 500 cows at one go as well as processing facilities for export of standard Wangyu beef is a welcome development in the modernisation of the sub-sector,” he said.

“The community development initiatives under this programme include the establishment of community paddocks and pasture improvement, roll-out of an artificial insemination programme for dairy and beef farmers to improve genetics, the swapping of old cattle with improved cattle breeds, provision of vaccinations and antibiotics targeting emerging pests and diseases, cattle dipping and skills development. There will also be cattle out-grower schemes for the provision of fodder grass and other stock feeds such as maize and traditional grains,” said the President.

“The launch is a positive indication of the confidence global and local capital has in our economy and the progressive policies of the Second Republic. The project further highlights the potential for harmony between the mining and agricultural sectors. Synergies in these sectors will indeed speed up the realisation of the outcomes outlined in National Development Strategy 1 and vision 2030,” he said.

The project is part of the country’s efforts to boost the national cattle herd under the livestock Growth Plan which seeks to grow the sector to US$1.9 billion by 2025. Under the scheme, increasing the number of cattle from 2019 baseline of 5.4 million to 6 million in 2025, with beef production of 90 000 tonnes and milk production from 79.9 million litres to 150 million litres are some of the targets of the Livestock Growth Plan.

The programme also aims at increasing the national dairy herd from 38 000 in 2019 to 60 000 by 2025.

The livestock project commissioned by the President and many other projects currently under way in the country are a clear demonstration that despite illegal sanctions imposed by the West and its allies, Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Mnangagwa is progressing well towards vision 2030.