By Bulawayo Bureau
THE Pig Industry Board (PIB) is lobbying for an increased availability of stockfeeds to increase the national pig herd, which was devastated by the drought four years ago.
PIB director Mr Paul Ndiweni said the organisation was in talks with agro-based companies, pig processing firms, banks, the Government among other stakeholders to restore viability to the sector. "The industry has over the years experienced a decline in production. However, this year the industry has been growing at a faster rate of about 20 percent in spite of stockfeed shortages," he said.
"We are still to ascertain if there are farmers who have experienced challenges," said Mr Ndiweni.
He said the PIB was implementing a strategic turnaround programme to facilitate the growth of the sector.
"The growth of the pig industry depends on the expansion of abattoirs around the country," he said.
Mr Ndiweni said the PIB was in talks with the Government to ensure that inputs such as maize and soyabeans were readily available.
He said pig producers continued to work with processors to facilitate viable producer price mechanisms.
Mr Ndiweni said the Grain Marketing Board continued to assist pig producers with affordable stockfeeds.He said the PIB was also working with National Foods Holdings Limited and the Agricultural Development Bank of Zimbabwe in assisting farmers with inputs and funding requirements.
Colcom (Private) Limited was one of the companies that had assisted small- scale farmers to produce on a large scale by providing the relevant inputs.
However, he could not give details on how much it would cost to rebuild the country's pig herd.