by Rungano Dzikira
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has distributed 744 heifers under the Command Livestock programme at Jotsholo Arda Estate, in Matebeleland North, this Friday, and vowed his administration would prioritise economic development ahead of politics.
Addressing Zanu Pf supporters and Command Livestock beneficiaries in Mat North, President Mnangagwa said Command livestock was a response by Government to realisation that some regions weren’t conducive for farming.
“Command Agriculture was a response to realisation that not all provinces can specialise in growing grain as previously envisaged under Command Agriculture.
“Provinces are not the same, some provinces like Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo don't have adequate rains and are suitable for livestock, hence the livestock distribution today,” he said.
On handing over the cattle, the President said the 744 heifers to be distributed to 228 beneficiaries were to benefit 79 women, 149 males, 24 youths and three people living with disabilities.
“These cattle are a loan scheme payable after five years, and beneficiaries only get to pay for the cattle originally given to them while the offsprings remain theirs,” he said.
“The new dispensation wants provinces to focus on building provincial economies and Command Livestock is just the beginning of a number of initiatives to create a Zimbabwe where citizens are rich and wealthy.”
He further added that the Jotsholo Arda Estate would also be converted into an agro-processing factory.
Under this programme, President Mnangagwa further initiated that each chief be given a bull or two for cross breeding for their communities and ensure that communities benefit by having good breeds.
On the whole, the President will distribute 1 444 cattle in the second phase of the distribution of cattle in Matabeleland.