Malawi Sitting on Gold, Livestock Farming
Indicators from several studies show that livestock farming like other sectors has the potential of saving the country’s economy from collapsing as tobacco, the main forex earner is losing economic grip globally.
Underfunding and slow growth are however major setbacks failing the country from realizing 1 trillion kwacha in revenue annually through the sector.
In the current national budget, livestock farming was allocated less than 1 billion kwacha, an amount which players in the sector feel are inadequate to revive the industry which requires over 5 billion kwacha allocation.
A visit by Deputy Minister of Agriculture Agness Mkusankhoma to some selected cattle farmsteads in the central region yesterday revealed that most of the space in the ranches is underutilized because of financial constraints to grow the industry.
Diamphwe Ranch Manager Mr. Leornard Mkwaila for instant told the deputy minister that the place which has the capacity to keep over 8, 000 cattle has only 3,000 at the moment.
“We have idle land here which can accommodate more animals than we have at the moment. One of the challenges we encounter here includes old equipment that we use here,” said Mkwaila.
The situation is not any different at Dzalanyama which according to Ranch Manager McBlessings Phiri, has 1000 cattle but can keep over 3, 000 cattle.
“We have very few workers to tend to the cattle which in most instances bring challenges. Land is too vast as well here but animals that we have cannot even cover half of the land,” said Phiri.
The deputy minister, Mkusankhoma says plans are already in place to revive livestock farming in the country considering the potential it has to grow the country’s economy.
“I have seen challenges that are rocking livestock farming in the country and now I have a picture on what to work on as we strive the industry which has the potential to get our economy back on feet,” said Mkusankhoma.
Currently, livestock farming contributes 8 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
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