Vice President Rtd General Constantino Chiwenga has officially launched a $300 million special livestock, fisheries and wildlife programme in Insiza, Matabeleland South Province.

The development is expected to revive the national herd and improve food security and nutrition in the southern regions of the country.

The dreams of farmers in Matabeleland region to boost their local economies that are anchored on cattle rearing is now within reach after the government officially launched the special livestock, fisheries and wildlife programme at Skuta Business Centre in Insiza today.

The $300 million programme will see government sourcing $220 million from the private sector while funding the remaining balance.

Speaking at the occasion attended by various stakeholders, Vice President Rtd General Chiwenga said government has already set aside $80 million towards the programme aimed at empowering the cattle ranching regions.

Vice President Rtd General Chiwenga who is also the cabinet chairperson on food security and nutrition said Sakunda Holdings has already offered an initial funding of $10 million that will benefit Matabeleland South and North Provinces.

The fuel company has also committed to availing 2 million chicks per month to support the poultry sector.

Other partners in the programme are Zimplats and Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Society.

The onus now rests with farmers in Matabeleland region to take advantage of the programme to boost food security and nutrition as well as fight poverty was the message by the Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement Rtd Air Chief Marshall Perrance Shiri.

The province welcomes the programme and is committed to help the country to produce beef to meet both local and export demand said Matabeleland South’s Minister of State Cde Abednico Ncube.

The first phase of the programme will also see government and its partners inseminating 6 000 semen straws into a livestock population of 3 600, which is anticipated to produce 1 800 bulls and 1 800 heifers.

The special livestock, fisheries and wildlife programme will be implemented and monitored by the national integrated command agriculture taskforce.