Eighty percent of grazing land in Masvingo Province is reported to be in poor condition leaving communal farmers desperate for stock feed with pastures in the most areas affected by the low rains received in the province.
In a bid to address the situation, Agritex officials in the province have started training communal farmers on making urea-treated stock feed using crop residue.
“We are encouraging farmers to bail hay and we are also moving around training the communal farmers on stock feed making to avert shortages. Farmers can make use of their residue, groundnuts husks and other residue,’’ said acting provincial Agritex officer Mr Aron Muchazivepi.
198 000 of the province’s herd is in Chiredzi, while 190 000 is in Mwenezi and both areas were hit hard by drought in the 2018/2019 summer cropping season.
Apart from stock feed, water for livestock has also become a challenge in some areas as rivers have run dry.
In periods of extreme drought, farmers have often been urged to sell some of their livestock and buy feed for the remaining animals in order to avoid a complete loss.