Africa-Press – Zambia. The government says it is providing support to farmers with seeds to grow their own pasture as a way to mitigate the effects of climate change. Mpika District Fisheries and Livestock Coordinator Simon Phiri says the Enhanced Small Holder Livestock (E-SLIP) program is aimed at improving smallholder livestock production and productivity in most parts of the country.
Mr. Phiri says the availability of natural pasture in Mpika Town is dependent on the time of year adding that the program pioneered the livestock pasture development program where farmers are supported with seed.
Fisheries and Livestock coordinator was speaking in an interview shortly after Mpika District Commissioner David Siame witnessed pasture growing in Chipundu area.
“The programme presents farmers with an opportunity to grow their own nutritious feed to feed their animals and this enhances the nutrition levels for the animals.
“ This seed is to help farmers grow their own pasture to supplement the nutrition of animals especially during the dry periods of the year,” said Mr. Phiri.
The Pasture Development programme is very important as it helps mitigate the effects of climate change which have impacted on the range under which natural pasture can occur.
“Better fed animals are better protected from diseases and any other optimistic helmets that may render them unhealthy,” he said. And Mpika District Commissioner David Siame says he is happy that the farmers in Chipundu have been taking good care of their livestock.
Advising that farmers should continue to take care of the livestock so that the program is passed on to others, Mr Siame added that government is committed to ensuring that livestock farmers are well trained for the benefit of ensuring healthy animals for the market.
“Am happy to witness the training of pasture growing, let us take this seriously and ensure that we take good care of our animals so that they are healthy.
“ Farming is a business which will not only provide the farmers with an income but help improve nutrition levels in their homes, “ said Mr. Siame.
Meanwhile, Emilio Kafula, a Chipundu Farmer says the pass-on program has helped change his living standards as he now has Eight (8) cows. Mr. Kafula says he received two cows through the program and now has eight.
“There are a lot of benefits in keeping cows that produce milk, these cows have helped change my living standards,” said Mr. Kafula.
He has since thanked government for the pass on program and the training being received in pasture growing which will help them with pasture during the dry season.