Mining giant, Zimplats has invested US$15 million in livestock production in Mhondoro-Ngezi, Mashonaland West Province.

The project is expected to be launched in September in Mhondoro-Ngezi where 11000 ha of pasture land have been made available.

The US$15 million project covers the rearing of commercial beef and dairy herds, with initial herds of 10 000 and 7500 cows respectively.

Zimplats CEO, Mr Alex Mhembere outlined the modalities and scope of the project which will be implemented by partners already in the livestock sector and farmers from the Mhondoro-Ngezi community.

“The project will have an economic impact and will see the production of 4800 tonnes of beef annually, while the dairy business will meet about 10 percent of the country’s annual milk demand,” he said.

The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, Rtd Chief Air Marshall Perrance Shiri applauded the project which he said dovetails well with the command agriculture programme.

“We are more than excited as a ministry to learn that you are now investing in livestock. This will go a long way in complementing government efforts in rebuilding the national herd,” he said.

The Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs, Cde Mary Mliswa described the project as a welcome development.

“This is a very welcome development. We don’t want the Mhondoro-Ngezi community to think this is theirs alone. If you fail to get farmers here with the passion to embrace the project, feel free to involve those in other areas,” she said.

The project is expected to have a significant impact on the national livestock restocking agenda.