The government has approved a special programme for livestock production dubbed “Command Livestock” which is expected to resuscitate key livestock related institutions and will empower farmers to revive the beef and dairy sector among other domestic animals.

The approval of Command Livestock by cabinet will see the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development taking a leading role in crafting the operational framework which will encompass beef, dairy, poultry, fisheries, and various other small stocks.

Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made says the programme which will be spearheaded by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, will be funded through a government private partnership on a cost recovery basis and will see the beef-producing southern region of the country being the biggest beneficiaries.

“The Command Livestock will get funds from the private sector, resources shall not exceed 4 percent interest rate with farmers expected to pay back in three years time,” said Dr Made.

The programme will stimulate the speed resuscitation of key parastatals such as the Cold Storage Company, Pig Industry Board and various other downstream industrial benefits will be derived from Command Livestock.

“Several benefits such as cotton cake, molasses from sugar cane, yellow maize production, and leather industry will be derived from the Command Livestock,” added Minister Made.

The approval of Command Livestock comes on the heels of the Command Agriculture which recorded tremendous success towards producing over two million tonnes of maize this season.

The command concept has also been extended to wheat targeting about 200 000 tonnes of the cereal crop this winter season.