Zim farmers fear for their cattle as drought, disease hit home

2015-08-17 20:02

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Bulawayo – Zimbabwe's farmers in Matabeleland South province fear their cattle won't survive the drought that has hit the region, with more than 300 000 cattle said to be at risk, according to a report.

Thousands of cattle are at risk of being wiped out by drought and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that have hit the region hard this year, News Day reported on Monday.

Farmers said the future looked bleak.

"Drought is very intense in this province and our livestock [is] at great risk. Drought mitigation strategies are required to save the livestock," one of the farmers, Solomon Linda, was quoted as saying.

"We are also being affected by foot-and-mouth disease and if nothing tangible to arrest it is done, then we are heading for a disaster," he added.

This comes a month after the country's Matabeleland North province was reported to be facing the same crisis, with at least 600 000 cattle said to be at risk.

At the time, state-owned Chronicle newspaper, quoted the livestock department as warning farmers to prepare for the worst, saying at least 99% of the cattle in the province could be lost.

The Matabeleland region used to be one of the leading livestock producers in the southern African country.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  drought  |  southern africa  |  animals

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