Lack of efficient and effective animal disease control initiatives and a structured market continue to dampen prospects for an improved livestock production in the country and across the region, experts have said.
This was said during a Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Regional Agriculture Policy capacity building workshop.
Civil Society Agriculture Network (Cisanet), a non-governmental organisation promoting agricultural development, feels more needs to be done if the challenge is to be addressed.
Cisanet National Director, Pamela Kuwali, said output for smallholder livestock farmers is greatly affected due to low access to markets and lack of information, among other challenges.
“Livestock production offers an opportunity for accelerated economic growth. However, low productivity, lack of efficient and effective animal disease control, lack of marketing infrastructure, and poor market access of livestock products, hinder the achievement of self-sufficiency in livestock products,” she said.
But Kuwali pointed out that Sadc has devised a number of programmes aimed to, among other things, increase investments in and access to finance for agriculture.
National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust organized the workshop with financial support from the European Union (EU) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Mchinji Nice District Civic Education Officer, Paul Kanyenda, attributed the challenges to lack of political will.
Kanyenda said this has, in turn, affected local farmers’ competitiveness on the regional market.
“It is therefore, not surprising that there is too much hiding of information at border posts in terms of what the cross boarder traders should know about the protocols for the benefit of cross boarder business,” he said.