Mon, 29 Jan 2018 15:07:05 +0000
By MAILESI BANDA
GOVERNMENT should encourage the local production of veterinary drugs by providing incentives to veterinary firms manufacturing them, Musika managing director, Reuben Banda has said.
Mr. Banda said the establishment of local manufacturing firms for veterinary medicine will save more livestock when affected by diseases as it will result in cheaper vet medicines.
Mr Banda said the livestock sector has vast potential for growth in Zambia. He was peaking when he made a submission to the parliamentary committee on agriculture at parliament last week.
He commended the private sector for beginning to play an increasing role in the provision of extension services in the livestock sector.
“Given the resource constraints faced by the livestock department, it is critical that efforts are made to find alternative sources of resources.”
“The private sector has the potential to bridge the gap in extension service provision, therefore, deliberate efforts that encourage the participation of the private sector in extension service provision should be developed,” Mr Banda said.
He said there is need to conduct a study to understand the extent to which the mode and quality of extension service provision has improved especially for the livestock sector.
Mr. Banda explained that like many other sectors in the country, the level of financing to the livestock sector is critically low. This implies that there is an inadequate fiscal framework to support an increment in staffing levels for extension personnel.
He noted that staffing considerations seem to favour the newly created districts as opposed to allocating the limited resources in a way that is more likely to maximize returns.
“There is need for the livestock sector to be given support for it to develop and the adequacy and availability of extension services for the livestock Industry is key,” Mr Banda said.