Zambeef Products Plc is investing US$800,000 to improve the breeding and productivity of the livestock sector in Northern Province where over 500 small scale farmers will be trained in deworming, vaccination and dipping of cattle.

Speaking after Musika Development Initiative donated a Toyota Hilux that will be used in implementing the smallholder cattle development project, Zambeef head of marketing and corporate affairs Felix Lupindula said the company is seeking to improve the breeding and productivity of the livestock in the northern area through education and training of farmers in matters concerning disease control and general management of livestock.

Mr Lupindula said under the same investment project, Musika is also donating several motorbikes to be used in the training and education of small-scale farmers in best farming practices

“The vehicle from Musika is intended to boost Zambeef’s smallholder cattle development project in Mbala, where Zambeef already has infrastructure in place together with staff on site, including a veterinary officer, and animal disease specialists, and trainers.”

“Through the veterinary services, Zambeef will effectively train small-scale farmers in deworming, dipping cattle, branding and vaccination. Zambeef will also bring in exotic breeds of cattle to breed with the local cattle through insemination, and this is vital for local livestock farmers to understand in order to be effective,” Mr Lupindula said.

And Musika managing director Reuben Banda said the investment will strengthen private sector projects by providing logistical support that helps to improve the efficiency and scope of such farming ventures.

“Musika’s core strategy is to support commodity traders, buyers and processors to establish long-term commercial relationships with smallholders that involve not just commodity marketing opportunities, but access to inputs, new technologies, and the provision of extension services to small-scale farmers.”

“This project between Musika and Zambeef is all about increasing animal production in the northern circuit, and Musika is taking advantage of what Zambeef has already invested in. Zambeef has an abattoir in Mbala and we want to use Mbala as a learning curve and expand to outlying districts, so the whole idea is to ensure we increase animal population in northern Zambia,” he said.