Tick borne diseases deaths decline

The livestock sector has recorded a decrease of 72 percent in tick borne diseases deaths in cattle, the First Round Crop and Livestock Assessment report has revealed.

The fair to good condition of the livestock is a result of the wide spread rains which has led to pasture rejuvenation and abundance.

The report states that 18 041 deaths were recorded in 2021 compared to 64 086 in 2020.

“A total of 188 048 tick-borne diseases were reported in 2021 compared to 288 911 cases reported in 2020. Tick-borne disease is the major contributor to the majority of cattle mortalities across all farming sectors especially compared to other diseases.

“The livestock condition is generally good in southern parts of the country while fair in the northern parts. The southern parts mainly fall in natural region IV and V characterised by the sweet veld. This is an indication that the quality of grazing in those parts of the country is good,” said the report.

The report noted that northern parts which are mainly in natural region I, II and III are characterised by the sour veld and a high proportion of the invader species.

“The regions may be having adequate grazing of poor quality hence the fair condition of the livestock.

“The condition also varied with the farming sector, where livestock are generally in fair condition in the smallholder sectors (communal, A1 and old resettlement areas) and good in the A2 and large scale farming sector, said the report.

The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development revealed that the major cause for the reported poor to fair body condition in the communal areas was poor livestock management practices such as poor de-worming practices and poor nutrition especially in the dry season.

“Although grazing was generally available across all sectors in the country, field observation indicate that the quality of grazing is generally fair to good.

“Most grazing areas are showing an increase in invader species that are not palatable to livestock.

“Quality of grazing in the A2 large scale commercial farming sector and some smallholder farming sectors was good at the time of assessment which is also the reason for a fair to good livestock condition,” said the report.

The Ministry attributed the availability of adequate grazing to the good rains received in the months of December and January.

The rains resulted in generation of grazing and browse especially in the Midlands, Matebeleland South and parts of Masvingo provinces which received early rains.

Quality in the smallholder farming sector especially in the communal areas was reported to be fair as a result of unpalatable invader species. Herald.

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