25 February 2018
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Friday, 11 August 2017 15:39

Shire Valley ADD admits livestock farmers’ exploitation over prices

Written by  Martin Chiwanda

Nsanje, August 11: Authorities in the Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division (SVADD) have conceded that scores of livestock farmers in the Shire Valley are not benefitting from their sweat in livestock production especially cattle, which is putting a strain on efforts to improve their income security.

Shire Valley Agricultural Development Division (SVADD) Program Manager, Ida Mwato in an interview said despite that the lower shire has more livestock compared to other areas in the country, farmers are still not benefiting as they struggle to get right markets.

Mwato said though they have been encouraging farmers to utilize the livestock for their nutrition for their good health, farmers are also entitled to sale their livestock and generate income to sustain their economic status.

“The livestock is being utilized in many ways, some farmers sell their livestock to butcher men, some to the middle men and some to their fellow farmers. We are mindful of the fact that farmers in the ADD struggle a lot to access better markets such that they are forced to sell to middle-men at low prices.

“Farmers have always been complaining about the low prices on the part of the middle men as they are failing to meet the cost of raising the livestock,” admitted Mwato.

She said as government, they are trying to train livestock farmers in the Shire Valley ADD on how they can get better markets in an effort to address the problem.

One of the livestock farmers in the Lower Shire, Gradesi Madson from Group Village Headman Mtema under the area of Traditional Authority Ndamera said they have been selling their livestock at a giveaway price.
Madson revealed that most of the farmers are poor despite having more livestock as they are forced not to sell due to low prices.

“I have livestock like cattle, goats and even chickens but I am very poor economically. At times when you think of selling some, you also think of the low price which one will offer you. Then in the end you decide not to sell. This is affecting us here in the Lower Shire,” bemoaned Madson.

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