Govt Distributes 53, 000 Livestock in AIP
Government has been tipped to assist livestock beneficiaries of Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) with extension services and food to prevent them from selling.
Ministry of agriculture spokesperson Gracian Lungu, said 52, 535 livestock have been distributed to AIP beneficiaries in 2021/2022 farming season which is slightly below 66, 000 target.
Livestock expert Kelvin Kandiero told Zodiak Online on Wednesday said incorporating livestock in AIP is a way to go in improving meat, milk production and economic aspect of the local farmers.
Meanwhile, Kandiero has indicated that though government has managed to nearly hit the 2021 livestock target in AIP, currently many goats are dying in the Shire Valley due to lack of extension services where some farmers are also selling them owing to hunger induced by cyclones.
Kandiero said if the situation remains unchecked, it will defeat the whole purpose of pushing higher 11 percent of livestock contribution to the country's GDP of agricultural production.
"These farmers who received livestock from government under AIP, they are facing a lot of challenges because they received trainings from agriculture experts at EPA level, but still they are failing to manage their livestock, like in terms of disease management and giving supplementary foods. Their animals are dying every day.
"Already, they started selling livestock which they benefited from AIP. So, I think government should institute something tangible, such as an abattoir which will help farmers to sell meat and meat products," he said.
Statistics from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) indicate that in terms of productivity, Malawi's livestock sector has remained static and there is a decline in some species, including cattle, goats and chickens as well as sizes for meat and milk yields.