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State launches livestock centre in Mumbwa

GOVERNMENT has launched a new community livestock centre in Mumbwa district at a cost of US$15,000.
Speaking during the launch, Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Livestock Lawrence Evans said the centre will strengthen the rural livestock supply chain, improving livelihoods and support rural development.
The centre was initiated by veterinary firms which will provide extension services to smallholders.
Amatheon Agri Zambia will ensure a reliable output market for the animals while Musika will facilitate market linkages between smallholder farmers and commercial companies.
Mr Evans said Government will continue with the construction of livestock service centres throughout the country, which are intended to provide extension services such as dipping, artificial insemination, spraying, de-working, branding and castration.
“In order to increase the availability of affordable and appropriate livestock breeding, the ministry has embarked on the establishment of livestock breeding centres in all provinces.
“This will assist the small-scale farmers to access quality and improved species of all livestock,” he said.
Amatheon Agri Zambia managing director Troy Minne said the company creates a supportive environment to help overcome major bottlenecks for rural farmers including access to market, knowledge and finance.
He said it facilited a loan scheme for farmers through Zanaco Bank under which 140 farmers received support, and that the pay-back rate was 100 percent.
Mr Minne also said 3,500 farmers have participated in training modules such as business and conservation farming.
And Musika livestock operations manager Dean Lihonda said the organisation will continue partnering with Amatheon in providing veterinary services and infrastructure that will provide high-quality technical support to rural farmers.