Local small livestock farmers should commercialize their operations on the open market to avoid being short-changed as demand for livestock is growing, an economist said last week.
Economist Ronny Sibanda told a farming business meeting that Bulawayo and Gwanda companies such as Michiview Enterprises and Bulawayo Abattoirs were each buying more than 1 000goats per month for slaughtering, increasing demand for small beasts.
“About 52 percent of demand is in Bulawayo and Gwanda alone, justifies the wisdom of investing in goats but due to lack of adequate information flow between the producers and the market, rural farmers end up engaging in cheap barter trade which continues to stifle the commercialisation of livestock,” said Sibanda.
Early this year, the government distributed 10 000 goats for breeding stock and wants to grow the number of animals to 44 million by 2018.
There are two types of markets for goats, breeding and slaughter stock.
Sibanda urged the farmers union to educate smallholder breeders on how to use Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to access such information.
Last year, the Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) partnered with a Ghanaian ICT firm, ESOKO, to send out commodity pricing and related information to farmers countrywide using mobile phones.
ESOKO is a platform where messages can be sent to a large number of recipients at one time and the technology can be adapted to suit local needs.-The Source