Government has expressed concern on the low cattle population in Luapula Province.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Lackson Kazabu said it is embarrassing that the cattle population in the province has remained mediocre despite the abundant water and good pasture.
Mr. Kazabu however said the government was currently investing huge sums of money to improve the livestock sector and that Luapula Province would be treated as a special case.
He said the government has embarked on the creation of the breeding centres to increase livestock in order to encourage livestock production for people who may want to venture into cattle rearing.
The Deputy Minister said that 84 cattle seedlings of hybrid quality was being nurtured in the province while a large and high yield breed of goats will also be introduced soon.
Mr. Kazabu was speaking when he addressed officers from his ministry at the Fisheries Training Centre (FTC) in Nchelenge District.
He noted that despite the favourable temperatures, abundant water and good pasture, the cattle population and livestock in general in Luapula Province still remains poor.
Mr. Kazabu stated that the goat meat is a delicatessen in the neighbouring Congo DR and that because of the proximity with Luapula the market for goat products is guaranteed.
“Those who will decide to rare goats will find a source of income to meet their daily needs and send their children to school,” he said.
The minister however encouraged people to continue growing crops for consumption but was quick to note that there is more money in livestock and fish farming.
“We should look at areas as a nation that can earn us more money to better our lives and help us to grow the country’s economy,” he added.
He said the meeting was interactive will help officers to draw lessons that are in turn going to develop the livestock sector and fish farming.
Mr. Kazabu said the government’s philosophy was that ministers and senior government officials must go where the people are and find out what is happening on the ground.
Meanwhile Mr. Kazabu blamed the inadequate staffing levels in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) on the ill timed and implemented public service reforms programme by the MMD.
He said all the government ministries were affected in the name of downsizing the workforce during the former regime.
However, he said the good news is that his ministry has been given treasury authority to employ 900 workers to be shared among all the departments under the ministry.
“We will move gradually until the anomaly is corrected,” Mr. Kazabu said.