Gratiano has shared his experience in several meetings, always praising the advantages farmers could get out of the new feeding scheme. This has enabled him to encourage numerous other livestock keepers.
Photo: R. Behrens

23.08.2013

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Zimbabwe used to be well-known for its high-quality meat exports. The sector was hard hit by the economic crisis that set in during the 1990s and coincided with the impact of a failed land reform and recurrent drought. Now, a new livestock-fattening scheme is to contribute to the survival of the branch and help resource-poor smallholders earn a living by marketing their meat.

Gratiano Kariba Marema is 75 years old and does not really look like a typical Zimbabwean smallholder farmer. Wearing suit and tie and a hat, he is showing us his cattle in a bigger herd on free grazing. “I am too old to do farming. I concentrate on livestock,” he says. He remembers the old days when Zimbabwean meat was exported world-wide, and he hopes to participate in the revival of the sector in the country. He was one of the first farmers to adhere to a livestock fattening pilot scheme in sales pens at Chivaka village in Bikita district in 2012. This public-private partnership venture is being run by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in co-operation with a private slaughterhouse, Montana Meats (see Box on page 42). In 2012, 32 farmers participated in the venture, with a total of 49 animals; in 2013, a further 40 livestock owners joined the scheme.

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