By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
GOVERNMENT should address the high cost of feed for dairy animals to help support the growth of the small scale livestock farmers.
A Luanshya small-scale dairy farmer, Effatah Jele, said in an interview recently that the cost of inputs for dairy animals was higher than the price of milk.
Ms Jele said it was important for Government to help tackle the issues of feed for dairy animals because that was affecting the growth of small-scale farmers.
“What is affecting us now as small-scale farmers is the cost of feed. We seem to be depending on commercial feed which is a disadvantage for a small scale farmer because the cost of input is higher than the price of milk,” she stated.
Ms Jele said it was also critical for the livestock farmers to grow their own feed, which would help address the current issues of high cost of commercial feed.
“What we need all of us is to go flat out to do our own thing and grow feed for our animals. This will somehow help the situation,” she said.
Apart from the high cost of feed, Ms Jele indicated that the veterinary medicines were also too expensive for a small scale farmer, as the drugs come in dosages of 20 and above, making it difficult for a farmer that only needs to vaccinate one or two animals.
She noted that veterinary drugs are an essential component of animal husbandry and modern food production.
“Our veterinary services are also not good, you want them to see your animals they will not come immediately because they always have issues. If it is not transport then it’s the fuel they don’t have,” Ms Jele said.
She said service delivery was important for the growth of the livestock sector hence the need for Government to address some of the issues such as high cost of feed and veterinary services for this sector to contribute to the country’s economic development.