Agri-business Business

Plastics worry Monze farmers

By TRYNESS MBALE
POLLUTION is worrying farmers in Monze where plastic litter is threatening the health of animals.
Zambia National Farmers’ Union outrerach and membership manager Grace Kambidima, said Government should ban the use of plastic bags in areas with high dairy cattle populations as the material is hazardous.
Ms Kambidima said Monze farmers were concerned about the increasing plastic litter which is swallowed by animals when they are grazing.
“The plastics are posing a serious threat to dairy animals that are at risk of swallowing them,” Ms Kambidima said.
Plastic pollution has the potential to poison animals, which can then adversely affect human food supplies.
An animal that has swallowed a plastic can suffer from lumen or intestinal obstruction, starvation and even death.
And Madison Insurance Company plans to insure about 300 dairy animals in Monze.
Recently, the company held meetings with Monze and Magoye cooperatives aimed at sensitising dairy farmers on the benefits of livestock insurance cover.
“Monze dairy farmers expressed interest to insure their dairy heifers with Madison, especially that the insurance covers theft apart from tick borne diseases,”  a ZNFU statement reads.
Meanwhile, farmers in Monze are calling on the relevant authorities to consider making theft of cattle non-bailable in an effort to curb cattle rustling. Recently, the district has had high incidences of theft of livestock.
Meanwhile, Zanaco Bank has introduced a loan-a-cow scheme where 253 in-calf dairy heifers will be given out to beneficiaries at the launch in Chisamba this week.
ZNFU said in its weeks brief that beneficiaries of the loan-a-cow plan include Monze Smallholder Dairy Cooperative Society, Magoye Smallholder Dairy Cooperative Society, Twashuka Dairy Cooperative Society, Chibombo Dairy Cooperative Society and Liteta Dairy Cooperative Union.

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