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Systematic research gap affects beef production

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By Chimwemwe Mangaz:

MATAKA—Farmers should not struggle

Lack of research and exposure of industry players to global trends has been faulted for slow growth of the country’s beef industry.

The observation was made at a stakeholders interface in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

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At the indaba, stakeholders were brainstorming possible ways of improving the sector’s contribution to the national economic development agenda.

It transpired at the meeting that public research institutions do not have adequate resources and this has of recent negatively affected the industry’s growth strides.

Malawi Roundtable Sustainable Beef Chairperson, Patrick Khembo, said lack of extension services has contributed to the challenges.

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“We don’t have extension services that support the beef industry. We have to develop policies aimed at promoting the beef industry in the country,” Khembo said.

A livestock farmer from Mzimba, Peter Masebo, concurred with Khembo, saying there are knowledge gaps among beef producers.

Head of the National Agricultural Investment Programme, Nelson Mataka, said the government is committed to reviving the livestock industry.

“We are procuring and restocking the farms; the idea is that when farmers want to buy livestock, which they want to raise, they should not struggle,” Mataka said.

Currently, cattle population stands at 1.5 million with 97 percent of the beef produced consumed locally.

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