The second phase of the Mimosa Livestock Revitalisation programme which commenced in 2021 with the refurbishment of dip tanks in the Kromdraai area under Chief Mafala is expected to see improved cattle genetics in Zvishavane and surrounding areas through artificial insemination.
According to the Zvishavane District Veterinary Officer Dr. Claudius Maguranyanga, they are targeting to inseminate at least one thousand cows in Zvishavane which will see an increase in the cattle herd in the district.
“Our objective is to inseminate more than a thousand cows in Zvishavane. Zvishavane is in natural region four and five and it’s a dry area, and the rainfall pattern is erratic .With the introduction of hardy animals like Bonsmarra, Tuli, and Mashona, we hope to reduce the number of animals that die from drought related problems.
“The new animals we are introducing can withstand drought conditions because they have been tested and proven to be hardy and are resistant to most of these tropical diseases such as tick borne diseases and many more,” he said.
According to a report seen by Great Dyke News 24, as Mimosa strives to augment government’s effort to improve cattle breed in Zvishavane and Mberengwa districts, a total of 500 pedigree breeding bulls and 109 heifers have so far been donated by the mining giant under the mining company’s breeding bulls programme.
“Mimosa sourced breeds that are resistant to hard conditions that can survive in region 5. These include Boran, Mashona, Tuli and Brahman Cross. These breeds have adapted well so far though as evidenced by minimal deaths recorded in the district.
“A total of 19 Zvishavane and 33 Mberengwa wards benefited from the programme. However, to manage the element of accountability on the bulls and heifers, 21 chiefs from both districts were made the custodians of the livestock, working in collaboration with councillors and wards livestock development committees.
“In 2021, Mimosa directed all the livestock sourced under the Livestock Revitalisation Programme for the financial year 2020-2021 to village communities around the mine who are directly affected by Mimosa’s operations. These are being managed per village and farmers can decide to share when the herd increases,” reads the report.
It also stated that Mimosa in partnership with the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society secured 1000 semen straws for all villages under chiefs Mapanzure, Masunda, Mafala, Wedza and Mazvihwa. After inseminating cattle under chief Mafala and Wedza, the programme is now moving to Chief Mapanzure for the financial year 2021/22.
A total of 130 cows were inseminated with conception rate of 52.8% at Mtshingwe area and 72.2% at Zurderburg area. In the second phase of the programme 450 cows were selected for pregnant tests in preparation for artificial insemination at Mimosa and Village 4 dip tanks.
Meanwhile, in 2020 Mimosa donated a Toyota Hilux single cab vehicle to Zvishavane Veterinary Services Department to eliminate mobility challenges that the department was experiencing. According to Mimosa, so far the District Veterinary Officer in charge of Mberengwa and Zvishavane has been monitoring and treating ailing bulls timeously and successfully.
Transportation of drugs and veterinary personnel to various wards that requires such services has been conducted without challenges because of the new vehicle.
In 2018, Mimosa, the Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS), the Department of Veterinary Services, which falls under the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development partnered on a Livestock Revitalisation Programme (LRP) through artificial insemination.
Under the arrangement, ZAS was roped in as the technical partner, Mimosa the funding partner, and the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services the implementing partners. This partnership demonstrates how agriculture and mining can work together to foster economic growth and development in the country.