ONE million households countrywide are set to receive consignments of tick grease under the Presidential Tick Grease Programme, as the Government moves in to support the agricultural sector to cover 4 000 dip tanks.
On the programme, the Government will also give traditional chiefs 40 bulls so as to boost the national herd.
This is part of a raft of measures being brought forward by the launch of the Presidential Tick Grease Application Programme.
Spearheaded by the Presidential Livestock Inputs Scheme, the programme is expected to reduce the number of animals succumbing to tick-borne diseases, particularly Theileriosis, popularly known as January Disease, which has killed over 300 000 cattle since 2017.
On Friday, Vice President Kembo Mohadi will officially launch the programme in Bengo village in Gwanda in Matabeleland South province.
Matabeleland South province, is the country’s hub of animal husbandry and the launch comes as Government has planned to position the agriculture sector as a key enabler to economic recovery.
Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Department of Veterinary Services chief director, Dr Josphat Nyika, yesterday said the tick grease programme will supplement intensive cattle dipping.
“In its endeavour to upscale livestock production and productivity, the Ministry will be launching the Presidential Tick Grease Application Program and handover of 40 bulls to Traditional Chiefs under the Presidential Livestock Input Program at Bengo Dip-tank in Gwanda on the 20th of November 2020.
“Under this programme, each household owning cattle will be provided with 1kg of tick grease, targeting 1 000 000 households and Chiefs will receive one bull each. The two intervention programmes will empower communities by safeguarding their herds from tick-borne diseases and improving the quality of their herds,” said Dr Nyika.
The Livestock Growth Plan is part of the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, which seeks to achieve a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025 capable of anchoring and propelling Zimbabwe towards the Vision 2030 goal of an upper middle-income economy.
The Livestock Growth Plan seeks to grow the livestock sector to a US$8,5 billion economy by 2025. The growth plan is anchored on co-ordinated multi-stakeholder responses to livestock value chain challenges. The public sector interventions will be expected to leverage private sector and development partners’ funding through existing or new projects, especially those aimed at scaling up successful interventions.