Platinum giant Zimplats revealed that the cattle ranching dairy project launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year is now on greater heights saying they now have 2 478 beef and dairy cattle.
In an interview with Great Dyke News 24, Zimplats Head of Corporate Affairs Busi Chindove said the company is now producing 400 000 litres of milk per annum.
“As you know there was a project that was launched by his excellency last year that is the cattle ranching and dairy project, and this year we have been explaining to show-goers the fact that this project has already grown.
“We now have a herd of more than 2 478 beef and dairy cattle within the project and it also led to the production of 400 00 litres of milk per annum to contribute to national milk intake.
“This is not just about nutrition which is important in itself but it’s also about import substitution, because as long as we are importing milk into the country, we are using foreign currency which could be retained for other uses when we are producing milk locally. So that’s something that we are committed to continue improving upon,” she said.
Chindove added that Zimplats is on a drive to link the mining and agricultural value chains in rural communities
“We are delighted to say that post-Covid-19, there is a lot of traffic, people want to know what’s happening within agriculture and in our economy at large.
“As Zimplats, our narrative is really about the work we are doing within rural communities linking mining with agriculture.
“The reason we are doing that is that, there is potential for synergy that must be exploited between the two sectors that contribute most to our economy, that’s mining and agriculture,” she added.
She added that they have partnered the Traditional Grain Millers Association for the production of garlic within the areas they operate in.
“The other thing we have started investing upon is horticulture within rural communities and we have started off with partnership which includes the Traditional Grain Millers Association and with them, we are now producing garlic and the communities are now producing garlic and we are assisting them in terms of funding.
“The idea is not only about attending to household nutrition but it’s also attending to livelihoods and income generation for the families that are participating. The garlic one is particularly interesting because, through the Grain Producers Association, those who are participating are going to be able to earn foreign currency for the garlic that they sell,” she said.
Mining activities have come into direct competition with another predominant means of economic development in rural areas which is small-scale agriculture.
Tensions over control of land and most importantly, water have led to community protests and violent conflict.
Reconciling these two important development drivers has become a critical governance issue, particularly in Zimbabwe.