Tuesday, 15 November 2016

MUSIKA HELPS ZAMBEEF TO SUPPORT SMALE-SCALE FARMERS IN NORTHERN PROVINCE

By MacPherson Mukuka in Lusaka

Musika is supporting Zambeef’s US$800,000 smallholder cattle development project in Northern Province with the delivery of a new Toyota Hilux that will be used in implementing the farming project.

The scheme is aimed at increasing animal productivity among small-scale farmers in the region, and the vehicle from Musika is intended to bolster Zambeef’s smallholder cattle development project in Mbala, where Zambeef already has infrastructure in place together with staff on site including a vet and animal disease specialists and trainers.

The partnership between food giant Zambeef and Musika, which is an independent non-profit company in Zambia, was sealed after Zambeef’s head of marketing and corporate affairs Felix Lupindula’ received the vehicle on behalf of Zambeef from Musika managing director Reuben Banda.

Mr. Lupindula said Zambeef seeks to improve the breeding and productivity of the livestock in the northern area, through education and training of farmers in matters concerning disease control and general management of livestock.

Under the same investment project, Musika is also donating several motorbikes that will be used in the training and education of small-scale farmers in best farming practices in the northern region.

He said through the veterinary services, Zambeef will effectively train small-scale farmers on deworming, dipping cattle, branding and vaccination. Zambeef will also bring in exotic breeds of cattle to breed with the local cattle through insemination and this is vital for local livestock farmers to understand in order to be effective.

Musika’s investment strengthens private sector projects by providing logistical support that helps to improve the efficiency and scope of such farming ventures.

Musika’s core strategy is to support commodity traders, buyers and processors to establish long-term commercial relationships with smallholders that involve not just commodity marketing opportunities but access to inputs, new technologies and the provision of extension services to small-scale farmers.

Speaking after handing over the vehicle, Musika managing director Reuben Banda said this project between Musika and Zambeef is all about increasing animal production in the northern circuit, and Musika is taking advantage of what Zambeef has already invested in.

He said Zambeef has an abattoir in Mbala and we want to use Mbala as a learning curve and expand to outlying districts, so the whole idea is to ensure that we increase animal population in northern Zambia.

Zambeef’s abattoir in Mbala is used as a base for developing a robust smallholder livestock supply chain. With this abattoir and other Zambeef’s established nationwide value-adding facilities and distribution network, farmers can tap into markets that may otherwise be unavailable.

Musika estimates that over 500 farmers will participate in the cattle supply chain once it is fully operational.

Zambeef has a similar project with the NGO in Mongu where a US$150,000 milk plant aimed at supporting the growth of small-scale dairy farmers in Western Province has been installed.

Zambeef provides technical assistance, training and guidance, and a working knowledge of animal husbandry to small-scale dairy farmers on how to improve dairy management and livestock productivity.

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