Stakeholders in livestock production have welcomed the European Union (EU)'s 7,3 million euro support for livestock, which is expected to improve production and market competitiveness.
Speaking at a stakeholders' workshop in Harare yesterday, Pig Producers Association of Zimbabwe (PPAZ) chairman Mr George Mudanga said the funds were primed to support 56 000 piggery farmers and 800 000 farmers in goat production by 2023.
He said the programme was part of the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP), which is aimed at improving food security.
It targets farmers countrywide under the auspices of Action Aid Zimbabwe, a non-governmental organisation committed to improving livestock production in Zimbabwe.
Said Mr Mudanga: "I can confirm the reception of 7,3 million euro from the EU for the purpose of improving meat production and other products from livestock. Right now, activities are underway countrywide.
"When the funds from the EU were availed, we as PPAZ, we applied for funding. We met the conditions which included having an expert responsible for managing a huge amount of funds. This is the reason why Action Aid chipped in and we are covering all provinces."
Mr Mudanga said the programme was not for poverty alleviation, but commercial livestock rearing.
All projects are being done with guidance from the Government to ensure that the programme conformed with national policies.
Farmer registration had been done and a verification exercise was underway.
Last week, the team was in Mashonaland West Province for verification of names.
Farmers can join the project and choose the area they want to specialise in, either goat or piggery rearing.
Mr Mudanga said plans to construct an abattoir in Selous, Mashonaland West Province, were afoot.
It would be used for slaughtering the pigs and goats.
More abattoirs were set to be constructed in all provinces.
Action Aid team leader for the ZAGP Mr Newton Chari said the project sought to capacitate farmers through improving the agribusiness environment.
"The pork value chain is aimed at providing pork for markets in Bulawayo and Harare and we have created production corridors in Matabeleland North and South for Bulawayo and Mashonaland East and West (provinces) for the Harare market," said Mr Chari.
PPAZ falls under Livestock and Meat Advisory Council.