Drought And Economic Woes Empty Zimbabwe’s Cattle Bank

75
1451

Drought And Economic Woes Empty Zimbabwe’s Cattle Bank

NESIGWE, Zimbabwe (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Livestock farmer Siphiwe Moyo walks briskly under the scorching sun until she arrives at a shady tree in the middle of a parched, unplanted maize field.

She is making a second check on three emaciated cows, two of which are pregnant.

Moyo, 59, is relieved to see them still standing. She and her husband, Daniel sometimes have to lift the weakened animals back to their feet three times a day in a frantic bid to keep them alive.

As another drought ravages Zimbabwe, farmers in livestock-rich Matabeleland, in the country’s west, are again counting their losses as animals die from thirst and lack of food.

Zimbabwean farmers, hit by more frequent droughts as climate change takes hold, have made efforts to change livestock practices to better cope with dry times – but not all of the new adaptation strategies are holding up, they say.

As a result, in a region where livestock are a store of wealth for most families, drought is again drying up income and reducing savings, farmers say.

“The cattle are our bank,” Siphiwe Moyo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, as her cows – two of them pregnant – stood in the shade.

If the cows die, “we will lose five animals in one go”, she said.

DYING CATTLE

In September and October, Matabeleland North reported losses of nearly 2,600 cattle as drought dried water supplies and pastures, said Polex Moyo, an officer for the province’s department of veterinary services.

He believes the losses will be even higher, with many livestock “in very poor condition”, he said.

A year ago, by comparison, 766 cattle were lost over the same period, he said.

Cattle are dying in part because cash-strapped farmers can’t afford to buy the supplementary feed their animals need, particularly with the price surging as demand soars, said Kenneth Nyoni, a trader in agricultural inputs.

A 50-kilo (110 lb) bag of commercial cattle feed is now selling for a third more than a year ago, he said.

Daniel Moyo said his family has already sold three goats to buy cattle feed in an effort to keep the three emaciated cows alive, and he expects to sell more goats.

But the struggling cows also are eating some of the family’s own maize meal – a staple food – mixed with salt and maize stalks saved from a 2017 harvest, he said.

“We have never lost animals to drought before because the situation was never this bad,” he said. Another 20 cattle the family owns “are at risk too unless we get rains soon and they have water and grass”, Moyo said.

Moyo’s neighbours in other villages in Nkayi District are already seeing their animals die.

In Tshutshu, village head Mbulawa Sibanda says he has seen 15 cattle lost to drought in the last few weeks.

The bush is filling with rotting animals, and more will die even if rains come, he said, as pastures take time to recover.

Ngwiza Khumalo, the headman of nearby Mhlabuyatshisa village said his community had lost 18 cattle in the last three weeks.

The deaths come as most rivers in the district have dried up and livestock need to travel ever-longer distances in search of water, Moyo said.

Farmers started reducing their herds as the drought hit, he said, but many took action too late.

STRUGGLING FEEDLOTS

A project in Nesigwe village, to put cattle into feeding pens during droughts – a move that cut losses in a previous drought – also has struggled in recent years, said Moyo, who chairs the effort.

When the project was first established in 2015, farmers fed animals in the pens with commercial feed, with the cost offset by the much higher price the fat cattle brought at market in a year when supplies of them were low.

https://www.reuters.com

The cash earned from sales then helped feed other animals, keeping more of them alive.

But a devaluation of Zimbabwe’s currency in late 2016 led to the collapse of the project, as the currency farmers brought in from cattle sales couldn’t buy enough feed to keep other animals alive, said Muhle Masuku, a farmer who helped launch the project.

In September, the International Monetary Fund warned that Zimbabwe’s economy was likely to shrink in 2019 as inflation soared to 300%, the highest rate in the world after Venezuela.

A shortage of foreign currency, water and electricity, combined with rising inflation, have sent the costs of goods and services surging in the country, which declared a drought disaster in August.

Reason Ndebele, a farmer in the village of Mtshengiswa, said saving cattle during drought often required hard work as well as cash.

He has hand-dug a well deep into the dry bed of the Tshangani River to provide water for his 25 cattle, and pulls up 30 20-litre buckets of water each day for them.

He sold some animals to pay for supplementary feed for the rest – something not everyone is willing to do, he said.

“Many farmers are not even keen to sell one animal to buy livestock feed and save 20 animals,” he said.

Farmers – many of whom grow crops as well as raise cattle – also are struggling to afford quality seeds and fertiliser this year, local officials said.

OPEC Gearing Up For Deeper Oil Cuts Russia Yet To Agree

“While farmers are losing cattle in Nkayi, many families are also going for days without food and cannot afford to buy inputs to prepare for farming this year,” said Kufakwezwe Ncube, a councillor in Nkayi Urban Ward 29 and former chairman of the Nkayi Rural District Council.

He called for urgent government help to supply food aid.

Reporting by Busani Bafana ; editing by Laurie Goering : Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women’s rights, trafficking and property rights. Visit news.trust.org/climate

Drought And Economic Woes Empty Zimbabwe’s Cattle Bank

75 COMMENTS

  1. of course like your web site however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I will surely come again again.

  2. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when brand-new comments are included- checkbox as well as currently each time a remark is added I obtain 4 e-mails with the exact same comment. Exists any way you can eliminate me from that service? Many thanks!

  3. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  4. I’m just commenting to make you be aware of what a great experience my wife’s girl developed going through your blog. She noticed numerous issues, most notably what it is like to have a great teaching mindset to make folks effortlessly learn about a variety of tortuous matters. You actually did more than readers’ desires. I appreciate you for delivering such warm and helpful, safe, explanatory and unique guidance on your topic to Tanya.

  5. I was just searching for this information for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative sites in top of the list. Usually the top sites are full of garbage.

  6. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  7. Hey there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  8. I think that is among the so much important information for me. And i’m satisfied reading your article. However should remark on some basic things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is in point of fact great : D. Just right task, cheers

  9. We are Daylight Studio, a boutique photography studio in East London available for hire. We are a creative natural light studio space with decorated French walls, lots of props and furniture and massive windows for great natural light. He have a unique selection of chairs, fabric backgrounds and a sofa for your next natural light photography project. The studio is great for fashion, portrait and commercial photography and if natural light photography studio is not your thing we have a lot of lighting equipment available for you as well and that includes studio strobe lights with various modifiers and LED constant lights for video production. We also have facilities for e-commerce photography. Please see the studio’s gallery here.

  10. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  11. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help reduce content from being ripped off? I’d really appreciate it.

  12. I have figured out some considerations through your website post. One other point I would like to state is that there are lots of games available and which are designed in particular for toddler age little ones. They contain pattern recognition, colors, family pets, and models. These generally focus on familiarization instead of memorization. This will keep children engaged without feeling like they are studying. Thanks

  13. Hey very cool web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I am glad to search out a lot of helpful information right here in the submit, we’d like work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.

  14. I have read a few just right stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you put to create any such excellent informative web site.

  15. I have noticed that online diploma is getting well-liked because getting your degree online has become a popular choice for many people. Quite a few people have not had a chance to attend a normal college or university nevertheless seek the improved earning possibilities and career advancement that a Bachelors Degree offers. Still people might have a degree in one field but would wish to pursue anything they now develop an interest in.

  16. Aw, this was a truly good blog post. In suggestion I wish to place in creating such as this additionally? requiring time and also actual effort to make a great write-up? but what can I claim? I postpone alot as well as never seem to get something done.

  17. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

  18. Get help to stop drinking. Helping women quit drinking alcohol. Coach Mary Wagstaff. Feel better, mind, body and soul. Mindfulness based coaching and alcohol recovery. Yoga for recovery.

  19. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I have been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided brilliant transparent concept

  20. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your web-site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a great website.

  21. It is my belief that mesothelioma will be the most deadly cancer. It’s got unusual attributes. The more I actually look at it the greater I am assured it does not act like a real solid tissue cancer. If perhaps mesothelioma is actually a rogue virus-like infection, hence there is the chance for developing a vaccine along with offering vaccination for asbestos uncovered people who are really at high risk connected with developing long term asbestos linked malignancies. Thanks for discussing your ideas on this important ailment.

  22. Unquestionably consider that which you said. Your favourite justification appeared to be at the net the easiest thing to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about issues that they just don’t understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and also outlined out the entire thing with no need side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

  23. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  24. Excellent way of telling, and good post to take information on the topic of my presentation topic, which i am going to deliver in institution of higher education.|

  25. Parties can be challenging to put together. Especially during the Halloween season. So how can you make the perfect party no matter the season or your theme

  26. Thanks for making the effort to go over this particular, Personally i think highly about this as well as adore understanding more on this topic. If at all possible, as you gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with more info? It is very helpful for me personally.

  27. Arx Nimbus’ Thrivaca Risk Analytics Platform provides the first financially-relevant Digital Risk Profile for the enterprise, underwriters and brokers. Using a patented algorithm developed in collaboration with leading universities, the DoD and federal regulators, Thrivaca consolidates industry historical analysis, your latest analyses and assessments, proprietary vulnerability scans, audit data and actuarial mathematics to produce a complete and detailed valuation of enterprise-wide digital risk, and the top sources of current carrying cost.

  28. My wife and i were quite contented when Michael managed to conclude his web research via the precious recommendations he came across from your site. It is now and again perplexing to simply happen to be giving out methods which often people today may have been trying to sell. Therefore we discover we have got the website owner to give thanks to for this. All of the illustrations you have made, the straightforward blog navigation, the relationships you help instill – it’s most terrific, and it is leading our son in addition to the family do think that issue is interesting, which is exceptionally indispensable. Thanks for everything!

  29. It’s my belief that mesothelioma is most dangerous cancer. It contains unusual features. The more I really look at it a lot more I am sure it does not react like a true solid tissue cancer. If perhaps mesothelioma can be a rogue viral infection, in that case there is the potential for developing a vaccine in addition to offering vaccination to asbestos exposed people who are open to high risk connected with developing potential asbestos connected malignancies. Thanks for discussing your ideas on this important health issue.

  30. Thank you a lot for providing individuals with an extremely nice chance to read critical reviews from this blog. It is usually very pleasurable and also stuffed with a good time for me and my office colleagues to visit your website particularly thrice a week to find out the new guides you have. Not to mention, I’m just usually happy with your very good suggestions you give. Some 2 points in this posting are surely the most beneficial I’ve ever had.

  31. I?m pleased, I must claim. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a blog that?s both instructional and also amusing, and let me tell you, you have actually hit the nail on the head. Your concept is exceptional; the problem is something that not enough individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am extremely pleased that I came across this in my look for something connecting to this.

  32. A lot of thanks for all of your effort on this site. My mum loves engaging in investigation and it’s simple to grasp why. Most of us know all concerning the compelling tactic you deliver reliable tricks through your website and welcome participation from others on that matter so our own daughter is without a doubt understanding a lot of things. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. You have been conducting a great job.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here