Small livestock producers in Gwanda South have called on the government to link them with lucrative export markets saying Matabeleland South has the capacity to meet demand for goat and sheep meat locally and abroad.
While Matabeleland South has a population of about 600 000 goats, small livestock farmers have been failing to access lucrative markets in Asia and some African countries where goat meat is on demand.
Communal farmers at Pfumukwe Gwanda South who specialise in goat production say while non-governmental organisations involved in restocking programmes pay competitive prices for their small livestock, individual buyers and middle men often short change them.
The farmers are therefore in need of better markets.
Provincial livestock specialist Mr Zondai Muchemwa acknowledged the potential of local farmers to supply outside markets but implored the goat producers to start take farming as a business in order to improve the quality of breeds.
The livestock farmers are currently pinning their hopes on a deal that was struck by the Matabeleland provincial chamber of SMEs, ZimTrade and the Cold Storage Company last year that will see the producers export beef, goat meat and mutton to Angola.
It is estimated that the country has 3.1 million goats, 80 percent of which are owned by communal farmers.