Efforts by research and development partners are offering renewed hope for livestock financing in Southern Africa. This was revealed at an International Conference on Livestock Value Chain Finance and Access to Credit, organized by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in partnership with the Swaziland Water and Agricultural Development Enterprise (SWADE) and Swaziland’s Micro Finance Unit (MFU) 21-23 Feb 2017.
Tremendous research progress has been made over the last ten years to better control the deadly African disease of cattle known as East Coast fever. This disease is caused by a single-celled organism, Theileria parva, which is carried by some tick species. Cattle become infected when a tick carrying the parasite takes a blood-meal from the animal over several days.
Many rural households in Zimbabwe rely on food aid to meet their nutritional needs. This problem, often aggravated by unemployment and falls in income, threatens the livelihoods of low income and food-insecure populations.
Farmers participating in the Zimbabwe Crop-Livestock Integration for Food Security (ZimCLIFS) project have increased their gross margins by up to 70%. The ongoing food security improvement project is targeting the country’s dairy farmers to help improve feed farming and overall dairy production.