Zambian Cattle Ranching Could Become A Major Foreign Exchange Earner

Zambian Cattle ranching could benefit Zambia, just as other countries have benefited.



However, here in Zambia, a considerable cattle population is mostly owned by small scale farmers.

Why Cattle Ranching Is Still Important

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Owning cattle is lucrative; it may present value for prestige. It is a source of funding for school fees, paying dowry or other expenses. It is also something to fall on by farmers when crops fail.

Huddles To Be Overcome In Cattle Ranching

Despite its appeal, the Zambian cattle ranching has its own pitfalls - animal diseases. This is particularly prevalent in Southern Province.

Some of the potential diseases which have created havoc are the following:

  • Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumnia (CBPP). The disease occurs in Western Province, North-Western Province and Southern Province.
  • East Cost fever/Corridor disease/Theileriosis/Denkete-Tick Borne disease. The disease occurs in Northern Province, Lusaka Province, Central Province, Eastern Province and Southern Province.
  • Foot and Mouth disease (FMD). This one occurs in Western Province, Northern Province, Southern Province and Central Province.
  • Trypansomsiszoonotic. Only three provinces have reported this disease: Southern Province, Western Province and Eastern Province.

In order to control the spread of different types of diseases the government instituted various measures such as restrictions in movements. Other mandated measures introduced were testing, slaughtering, vaccinations and compulsory cattle dipping.

However, there are other problems which are encountered in effecting these measures: uncontrollable cost of dip chemical, illegal stock movement and poor management of dip tanks. And in other cases, for example, due to poor sensitization, some farmers do hide their animals during vaccinations exercises!

The Way Forward?

Despite the measures taken by the government, cattle diseases have led to a reduced growth in the traditional sector.

At family level this has led to reduced food security and at a national level, this has led to the reduction in the potential contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP).

What is the way forward? The government should not relent, but should continue to pump in money as much as possible in every budget year in order to mitigate the effects of diseases in the livestock industry. This is the only way we can ensure that the cattle ranching sector becomes a major foreign exchange earner now and in the future!

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