By Shamain Nyamutswa
The Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) dairy farmers are facing challenges in providing food for their cattle due to economic instability and inflation.
This has left them unable to buy stock feeds leading to the high death rate of their livestock recently.
Milk and milk products are being sold in local currency whereas the stock feeds are being bought in foreign currency, particularly United States dollars. ARDA is now failing to buy food for their livestock because their revenue is becoming lesser compared to their expenses.
“Our cattle are now producing 5 litres of fresh milk per day compared to about 400 litres which they used to produce because they are not getting enough food which is required for them to be healthy,” said Mrs. Nyakatawa, one of the workers while commenting on how they are struggling.
“We sell our products in $ZWDL which then becomes a problem again to us when we want to convert it to $US in order to buy stock feeds for our cattle to produce more milk like they before,” she added.
The cattle are becoming weak day by day and some are even losing their lives due to hunger.
“We are now walking for distances with the cattle in search of greener pastures since the surrounding areas have been cleared for resettlement purposes. We lost 4 cows recently, “said Denis Zakariya.
Meanwhile, the company is also failing to pay its workers on time following the decrease in its revenue due to economic instability in the country as well as poor performance within the company itself.
Farmers are now hoping for the Government to intervene by providing food as well as medicine before they lose all their livestock to hunger.