By Tatenda Mujeyi
During the commemorations of World Milk Day in Harare this week, the Department of Vertinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development emphasised the need for farmers to comply to dipping expectations and animal movement regulations lest their stock be incinerated.
With an alien ailment having claimed a vast number of cattle, stock theft and panic selling owing to the latter among other issues having resulted in increase in stock transportation the Department of Vertinary Services has urged farmers and transporters to comply to dipping and animal movement regulations.
“Every farmer must ensure they comply with animal movement regulations, simply put, do not move any cattle, pigs, goats, sheep without a movement permit issued by the Veterinary Office. Such animals will be destroyed and the farmers will be prosecuted.
Produce all cattle for dipping at each dipping session.” The Director in the Department of Vertinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Land, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr Jairas Marecha said.
Failure of which, “Farmers will be prosecuted if their animals are found to be tick infested. Apply tick grease onto your cattle in between dipping or when you notice ticks. Sell off non-productive cattle and manage your livestock farming as a business.” The Director Vertinary Services said.
The country’s apex vertinary government structure feels the strides government is taking is positive and in line with international sustainable development goals and agenda of leaving no one behind.
“We have the Blitz tick grease programme: National dip tank rehabilitation and construction; Gonarezhou FMD fence construction; Blitz deworming programme coming soon. The future of the livestock industry looks bright as these initiatives will translate to improvement of livestock productivity and profitability. The country is making strides towards Vision 2030, improving agriculture production, productivity and profitability for the attainment of national and household level food and nutrition security.” The Deputy director also said.
Following signatures by Government to International Declarations and commitment by farmers to realise increased milk production through highest possible vertinary standards and sync to the sustainable development goals.
“The signing of the Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam in 2016 by the representatives of the global dairy community clearly demonstrates the commitment of the sector towards sustainable development. To this end, our farmers are committed to increasing milk production through sustainable dairy farming, Dairy farmers recognize that a cow’s comfort and health is very important to their overall sustainability efforts because healthy and well-treated animals produce high-quality, wholesome dairy foods.” The DVS Director also said.
The event further emphasised the need for milk operators to continue improving on their adoption of greener standards and production of healthier brands.
“I would like to complement and urge milk producer’s to continually consider making milk greener and smarter through recyclable packaging, use of alternative green energy sources among other green innovation initiative’s. Furthermore, it is important to the producers to put the health of their customers through improving soluble milk to 50% from the current 30% in most milk products.” Chief Dairy Officer in the Department of Vertinary Services Mrs Marecha said.
The event noted the strategies that partners in the dairy chain were adopting to meet the ever challenging changes necessitated by the urge to reduce carbon emissions and adopting environmentally friendly dairy farming practices.
“When it comes to animal care, nutritious diets, healthy living conditions and good veterinary care are practices routinely used by our farmers to keep their herds healthy. Ladies and gentlemen, I have been reliably informed that the local dairy value chain has taken steps towards reducing carbon footprint through sustainable dairy farming practices which include; 1. Crop rotation to mitigate weeds and improve soil quality; 2. No-tillage or reduced tillage crop farming for soil and fuel conservation.” Dr Marecha also said.
World Milk Day is celebrated yearly on the 1st of June and was celebrated under the theme “Dairy Net Zero” and was coordinated by the Zimbabwe Farmers Union in partnership with EU funded WE EFFECT, Zimbabwe Agriculture Reform Program showcased the various milk brands including Kefalos, Dairibord, Nestle Zimbabwe, Pro Brands among other milk brands.