Mbesuma ranch needs capital
Chinsali, June 14, 2013, ZANIS…Muchinga province minister Colonel
Gerry Chanda says he is saddened with the casual approach of
authorities charged with the responsibility to manage Mbesuma Breeding
Centre in Chinsali district.
Colonel Chanda said the casual approach to duty is worrying
saying the ranch needs serious investment as shown by the rate at
which the animals are multiplying.
The minister who described the project as a cosmetic programme said
although the ranch seems to be doing fine there is need for more investment
to boost the breeding capacity instead of having one animal per cow each year.
Colonel Chanda said the Mbesuma Breeding Centre is a good project
which if well managed and more investment capital can create
employment opportunities as well as generate income for the treasury.
The Minister said that the project has minimum risks compared to
the mining industry and other sectors of the economy.
He charged that economic development can only come about if the
country widens its investment portfolio through such projects hence the need for
the ranch to have a clear cut policy on investment.
Colonel Chanda stated that the project will provide improved breeding
stock for enhancement of livestock production if more funds are
He said the project will also improve the livelihood of small scale
farmers in Muchinga, Northern and the country as a whole if allowed to
operate at full capacity with support from the line ministry.
The Minister said it is high time that the authorities managing the
project takes keen interest in it if they want to make
the centre a breeding centre.
And Ranch Manager Patrick Andrish Mpundu told the Minister that the
ranch started with one 102 animals after its re-establishment in 2007
and that it now has a total of 466 animals.
Mr. Mpundu said the ranch has 14 bulls,104 cows, 218 bulling
heifers, 49 yearling heifers,16 calves,64 young bulls and 5 oxen.
He said the price modalities have already been developed and that the
only thing remaining is for Cabinet Office to approve in order to
enable the ranch sell the animals to locals and other Zambians.
He said the proposed market offload for the sale of young bulls will
be sold to 40% women, 40% youth and 20% will be sold to on the market .
The ranch Manager further said that this year 64 young bulls will be
offloaded to small holder livestock farmers using the modalities yet
to be approved.
Mr. Mpundu added that the breeding centre has managed to procure farm
equipment for operations and pasture development and the equipment
include a 75HP tractor, tipper trailer, and a land cruiser.
Mr. Mpundu also bemoaned poor staffing levels at Mbesuma Breeding
Centre saying the Ranch only has two full time officers employed by
the government and 20 casual employees who include eight herdmen.