Zambia cattle faming and the waste they create

Created by Admin in Articles 13 Mar 2024

The Western Province boasts the second-largest cattle population in Zambia, with numbers exceeding 400,000 in 1982, marking a significant milestone since records began in the 1920s. Over recent years, the growth rate of the cattle herd, following offtake, has surged to 5.0 percent annually between 1980 and 1984, surpassing that of any other province. This province's cattle population constitutes approximately 24.5 percent of the country's communally herded cattle, with offtake accounting for 23.4 percent from this segment.

Cattle play a pivotal role in the monetized rural economy of the Western Province, with the value of commercial cattle sales surpassing that of official crop sales by fourfold. Despite being recognized as a valuable resource for provincial and national development, efforts to foster cattle development have encountered challenges. Despite foreign aid, such initiatives have struggled amidst Zambia's economic difficulties. However, amidst the evolving crisis, there lies an opportunity to reconsider and restructure livestock development strategies.

This paper delves into the economic and political landscape of the Western Province, examining the role of cattle in its rural economy. It assesses the contribution of cattle to the province's development trajectory, focusing on cattle development endeavors since independence. Finally, the paper discusses the current obstacles hindering the achievement of an economically and ecologically sustainable approach to cattle development.

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