Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development chief director Yanira Ntupanyama has challenged smallholder farmers in Mangochi to improve breeding of livestock to ensure sustainable production.
Speaking on Tuesday in Mangochi during the official launch of Southern Africa Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (SARSB) by Solidaridad, a Dutch ecumenical development agency, she said improving breeding of livestock can boost food protein as well as increase their revenue base.
Ntupanyama advised smallholder livestock farmers to pursue sustainable livestock production in the face of climate change.
“More can and must be done to encourage farmers to realise the advantages of livestock adapted to local areas,” she said.
Ntupanyama said mismanagement and poor welfare render livestock susceptible to diseases, adding that this results in many animals dying before they lactate, reach slaughter weight or reproduce, thereby, lowering production.
“There is need to provide education and handsome financial aid to the farmers as these could improve husbandry and more animals would survive,” she said.
In his remarks, Solidaridad international programme coordinator for livestock Gert Van der Bijl said climate change has choked the production of livestock.
“To overcome these challenges, the creation and strengthening of regional networks is required where experiences and lessons learnt are shared to enhance and strengthen effective adaption of the livestock sector,” he said.