Zimbabwe is finalising arrangements to import 230 Large White Landrace and Duroc pigs from South Africa as breeding stock, as part of a US$45 million (about R630 million) EU-funded project to improve the country’s livestock value chain.
Newton Chari, spokesperson of Action Aid, the agency leading the implementation of the pork sector revitalisation project, told journalists at a recent workshop in Bulawayo that Danbreed in South Africa would supply the breeding stock to be distributed to farmers in two provinces in northern Zimbabwe.
“We are expecting the [pigs] in a few weeks in the country. Danbreed will also be providing the necessary after-station services, which is required for the breed.”
In June 2019, the EU launched the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme under which the project is being run.
The initiative, expected to run until 2023, was aimed at helping to identify challenges, as well as develop and implement strategies to address them in an attempt to boost the potential of livestock farming in Zimbabwe.
In addition to working with farmers, the project would support private sector processors, integrators, research organisations, farmers’ unions, and financial service providers.
Chari said the pig sector revival initiative was expected to not only help improve the genetics of the pig industry in that country over the project period, but also grow the national sow herd, while boosting farmers’ viability by elevating them from subsistence to commercial production.
“We are looking at improving the food conversion ratios, improved disease management, adaptability, and traits [that benefit] the meat quality.”