Farmers must look after their livestock well
EDITOR — During the numerous droughts that affected Zimbabwe since independence, farmers lost significant livestock, with some households having their entire herds wiped out.
Nobody plans to have droughts but these are occasioned by nature as they are a result of developments beyond our earthly confines.
The loss of livestock for a communal farmer means the loss of draught power, thus limiting the options available for the families for survival.
However, in trying to rebuild their herds, communal farmers must also remember that pastures alone are not the solutions.
Livestock diseases have to be dealt with effectively and in the past, January Disease, foot and mouth, anthrax and others have also decimated the national head.
It is also important for people to remember that it was largely because of foot and mouth that Zimbabwe lost its European Union market for beef.
Communal farmers must pool resources and procure chemicals and veterinary medicines that will help deal with cattle diseases as well as those that may affect poultry and animals like pigs, goats, sheep and rabbits, among others.
For a rural household, livestock is indeed wealth as farmers can sell these to raise school fees for a child, pay for health care, purchase food and many other expenses that may need attention in the home.
Awaiting the government to provide all will not work.