Government, through the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has empowered 168 smallholder farmers with 453 herds of Boran cattle-breed in order to increase beef production and farm power mechanization in Muchinga province.
Muchinga Province Senior Livestock Production Officer Henry Sichone disclosed that Mbesuma Livestock Breeding Centre in Chinsali district has offloaded bulls, cows, heifers and steers to all the nine districts of Muchinga province.
Mr. Sichone said the Boran breed is for crossbreeding with the locally available small-sized-breeds in order to come up with an improved larger-sized cattle-breed that will provide better returns in beef production and farm power mechanization.
Mr. Sichone explained that the smallholder beneficiaries of the Boran cattle have indicated good performance with no reports of mortality but only new births adding that beneficiaries will, subsequently, attain household nutrition and food security and increased income to improve their standard of living.
He furthermore disclosed that government in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) established the Livestock Infrastructure Development Project (LISP) in 2013 which has developed important livestock infrastructure to curb high disease incidences and poor livestock service delivery in Muchinga province.
He revealed that seven districts of Muchinga province that include: Chinsali, Nakonde, Mpika, Isoka, Mafinga, Lavushimanda and Kanchibiya have Livestock Service Centres constructed under LISP to improve livestock production, productivity, market linkages and farmer’s income.
Mr. Sichone said the infrastructure constructed to complement livestock production in Muchinga province included: a livestock farmers’ training institute in Chinsali, a regional veterinary laboratory in Isoka, a quarantine and marketing centre in Nakonde, livestock slaughter facilities in Chinsali, Nakonde, Isoka and Mpika, a milking facility in Mpika and check points in Nakonde and Lavushimanda.
The infrastructure facilities include staff houses, training buildings and equipment, boreholes, dip tanks, milk pasteurizer; holding and crush pens in addition to other several facilities.
LISP is a partnership funding of 85% from the AfDB, 12% from GRZ and 3% by the smallholder livestock beneficiaries in form of land.
Mr. Sichone stated that LISP that was a 5 years project that began in 2013 and ended in 2018, although works on uncompleted infrastructure is still on-going. ENDS/VC/NAIS/Chinsali.