Good rains, rise in diaspora remittances to revive livestock, beef sector

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  • Increased diaspora remittances expected to positively impact disposable incomes
  • Good rains and surge in diaspora remittances offers an economic stimulus package to lift the livestock and beef sector out of the deep recession
  • Favourable demand side factors and supply side factors are aligned to make 2021 beef marketing season the best season in as many years
  • The cattle population suffered significant losses due to the virulent tick-borne disease, Theileriosis in the first quarter ended 31 March 2021

Harare – The Livestock and Meat Advisory Council says the good rains recorded in the 2020/2021 agricultural season and the increase in diaspora remittances are anticipated to resuscitate the livestock and beef sector.

In a Beef Sector Market Watch report for the first quarter ended 31 March 2021, the Council said the good rains and the increased Diaspora remittances offer an economic stimulus package to lift the livestock and beef sector out of the deep recession experienced over the last two years.

“Good agricultural crop harvest means higher incomes for Zimbabwe, a country in which the majority are full time or part time farmers. The increase in Diaspora remittances is also expected to positively impact disposable incomes.

“Demand for beef and animal proteins in general increases with rising disposable income especially among low income urban consumers. Thus, favorable demand side factors and supply side factors are aligned to make 2021 beef marketing season the best season in as many years,” read the report.

The Council added that despite the confirmation by the 2021 National Budget Statement that micro-economic headwinds will persist over 2021, worsened by the COVID-19 and lockdown policies, there is hope for the cattle industry to smile again with the return of better fortunes in 2021.

Meanwhile, the cattle population suffered significant losses due to the virulent tick-borne disease, Theileriosis in the quarter, and the government through the Department of Veterinary Services is leading efforts to aggregate vaccine requirements from key participants in the value chain for bulk purchases.

The Council also mentioned that field reports from members of the Zimbabwe Association of Abattoirs confirmed increasing difficulties securing slaughter stock from the communal areas.

“Procurement costs have also risen, partly because of declining availability as farmers are under less selling pressure due to improved harvests and a shift in currency preferences to protect incomes values against any potential unexpected inflation and macroeconomic instability,” read the report.

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