Agri-business Business

More skills, knowledge needed for livestock farmers

TRYNESS MBALE, Senanga
LACK of knowledge among livestock farmers in Senanga has hindered the development of the sector in the district, Induna Mwangala Mukolo has said.
Mr Mukolo, who was speaking on behalf of the Baroste Royal Establishment, said the livestock sector in the district has potential to grow but farmers do not have access to products and technical know-how.
He said this at the launch of Ultravetis livestock intervention programme, which is aimed at addressing the challenges faced by farmers.
“Senanga, Sioma and Nalolo have the potential to keep animals such as cattle, goats and chickens but the challenge is that these areas have poor farmers who fail to get the best from these animals.
“Now that Musika and Ultravetis have come to our aid in trying to combat challenges that we face, it will be easy to rear these animals. Let us take this opportunity as a blessing and be attentive to capture knowledge to better our society,” he said.
He, however, said Government has put in place good policies in the district but they fail to materialize because of people’s ignorance.
At the same occasion, Western Province Provincial veterinary officer Fredrick Banda said livestock is the biggest economic activity in the province.
Dr Banda also said farmers in the area need to change their mind-sets if the sector is to develop.
On the launch of the intervention programme, he said it will help revamp the sector in the province.
He said once the sector is improved, farmers will increase income at household level and contribute to reduction of poverty in the province.
Commenting on the development, Western Province provincial agriculture coordinator Alex Chilala said the intervention is the answer to many challenges faced by small-holder farmers living in remote areas.
Mr Chilala said despite the potential the livestock sector has in the province, it is difficult for farmers to realise full economic benefits due to high disease prevalence.
He said it is difficult for farmers to realise full economic benefits due to poor health of animals and high mortality rates.
“It has been difficult for the majority of our farmers to access genuine products and effective extension services and productivity-enhancing technologies such as artificial insemination services that are critical to the overall economic development of our nation,” he said.


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