At the Ezwilini Conference, experts were trying to find ways to unlock the livestock value chain, finances and access to credit for rural farmers. They probed issues to do with improving the livelihoods of livestock smallholder farmers and other value chain actors through value addition and marketing.
Rural farmers in Zimbabwe and the whole of Southern Africa are set to receive a major boost in their livestock production through the expected launch of the beef value chain finance initiative this year. The initiative, whose pilot project was successfully undertaken in Swaziland, includes a loan scheme for smallholder farmers who want to take up beef fattening for the market. This came out during the on-going International Conference on Livestock Value Chain and Access to Credit being held in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
A new regional push, focused on promoting four key actions to adapt agriculture and curb growing hunger, could help, Ajayi said. The best ways to assist southern Africa’s farmers, agricultural experts said, are by increasing their access to insurance for crop failure and livestock deaths, and giving them better weather advice via mobile phone.