By OLIVER SAMBOKO
LIVESTOCK farmers in Siavonga have appealed to Government to urgently lift the ban on livestock movement.
The famers said the ban has caused serious problems in the industry. One of the farmers, Mr. Gibson Masenke, complained that the continued ban on livestock movement had not only pushed the cost of production up but also left livestock farmers in destitution.
He said farmers were spending a lot of money buying feed on already mature pigs and therefore Government should be considerate in handling the matter.
He said, farmers needed to urgently sell the mature animals on which they had continued spending money to sustain them.He said Government must support local farmers so that they could continue their meaningful contribution to the nation food security.
Mr Masenke argued that the livestock sub-sector had continued registering slow growth rate due to challenges resulting from the ban.
“A number of factors, including the devaluation of the Kwacha that has been driving the costs of stock-feed, are putting poultry production under a lot of pressure,” Mr Masenke said.
He said the poultry industry was critical for the national economy because it constituted 4.8 per cent of the agricultural gross domestic product and 48 per cent of the livestock sector.
And another farmer, Justine Kalima, who is headman Mwaangala of Simamba chiefdom said his people were failing to buy food because they have nowhere to sell the livestock. He called on Government to relax the ban to allow farmers in the area to sell their stock in order to minimise losses.