Ministry of Agriculture hands over bicycles to dip tank attendants: Zvimba
Nevanji Munyaradzi Chiondegwa
The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, has launched a campaign to eradicate Tick-borne diseases including the notorious January disease by equipping dip tank attendants with bicycles.
The countrywide programme was launched in Zvimba this afternoon (Friday, 14th September) at a ceremony presided over by the Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Dr John Basera, and witnessed by over 600 villagers at Chinyabowa Dip, Zvimba West.
Dr Basera handed over 116 bicycles of the 1000 bicycles earmarked for Mashonaland West. The bicycles for the dip tank attendants are part of a countrywide capacitation of the Department of Veterinary Field Services for its operations. The mobility of dip tank attendants has been said top be a critical factor to the success in the War against January Disease and other Tick borne disease.
The handing over of the bicycles to Dip Attendants is in addition to a host of other initiatives that have been implemented in capacitation of extension staff.
During the handover, Dr Basera called upon Provincial Directors to hand over the remainder in their respective districts and urged beneficiaries to take good care of the bicycles as they are theirs.
Dr Basera revealed that livestock economy contributes 20% of the Agricultural GDP hence cattle must be taken good care of. He added that besides providing us with proteins via beef, cattle assist as draught power and are also used for lobola payment and are a store of wealth.
Dr Basera emphasised that the Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan as prescribed in NDS1 is to reach 6 000 000 herd of cattle by end of 2023 and 8 000 000 herd by 2025 through various interventions such as animal health programmes, hence the importance of dip tanks utilisation.
Speaking at the same event, Director of Livestock and Veterinary Services, Dr Josphat Nyika said that the nation had embarked on an exciting journey which will see the nation kill the last tick, and declare victory against all ticks and Tick-borne Diseases and all other animal diseases.
The occasion was also graced by the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Mercy Dinha, who is the area Legislator. She was in the company of her husband Advocate Martin Dinha. Hon Dinha thanked the people of Chinyabowa for voting for her and the ruling Zanu PF Party President Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa.
She expressed gratitude for the bicycles given to Dip Attendants as they used to cover about 3 dip tanks per person on foot. Dep Min Dinha also thanked Dr Basera for the capacitation of extension officers in the area who recently received motor-bikes and tablets among other tools of trade. She commended the Ministry of Agriculture in their fight to eliminate all animal diseases and beef shortage