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Drought accelerates boundary encroachment, spread of diseases

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Drought accelerates boundary encroachment, spread of diseases



MASVINGO – There is serious boundary encroachments among provinces and districts as livestock is moved from one area to another in search of water and grazing, Masvingo Provincial Agritex Officer/ Provincial Agriculture Deputy Director Nobert Masiiwa has said.
This is causing serious problems for the Department of Livestock Research and the Ministry’s programmes to control the spread of diseases and in particular January disease.
Speaking in an interview with The Mirror at Makoholi Research Institute review and planning workshop, Masiiwa said there is a lot of vandalism of fence by farmers encroaching into neighbouring Provinces for grazing.
Masvingo districts which include Gutu, Chivi and Mwenezi share boundaries with Midlands Province’s districts of Chirumhanzu, Shurugwi and Mberengwa respectively.
“We encounter problem of diseases particularly January disease and tick borne in districts which share boundaries with other Provinces. The challenge is that the time these cattle go for dipping is not the same and hence evading the spread of diseases becomes a challenge. Unless we raise awareness with consented efforts to all boundaries, we will continue to have residual January disease,” said Masiiwa.
He said Government efforts through the Veterinary Services Department and Livestock Department should be consented on raising awareness to border areas between provinces.
Department of Livestock Research Director Andrew Chamisa urged farmers to respect boundaries at both district and provincial levels.
“We urge farmers to get animal movement permit before they take their cattle to other provinces. This is important in terms of disease control and in reducing cattle theft. We also urge our Police on the highway to stop and establish if animals being moved have required papers,” he added.

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