Livestock Namwala District
Growth Prospects for African Livestock, Meat and Dairy Industry Demand
Africa is home to 240 million head of cattle, 16% of the global total, about the same as Brazil and India. Total livestock and meat demand are expected to grow faster in Africa than in other world regions over the next 20-30 years according to Morgan er. al 2013. Africa accounted for 15.5% of the world’s population and only 4.3% of meat consumption in 2005-07. With 2.8% growth, meat demand is forecast to increase from 11 million metric tons (mmt) by 2050, making Africa the world's fastest growing meat market.
Overview of the Beef Industry in Zambia
The Livestock sector is one of the key economic sectors in Zambia contributing 7.4% to the national GDP equivalent to approximately 30% of the agricultural GDP.
Of this statistic, Livestock contributes 6% to smallholder household’s income sales and consumption (RALS 2012), this can be as high as 30% among livestock direct market participants e.g. Southern Province, Namwala region.
Importance of the Livestock Sector in the Economy and Rural Livelihood
The World Development Report of 2008 assembled data from several developing countries and found that GDP growth originating in agriculture is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth originating outside agriculture. It is estimated that the human needs for livestock products (food, hides skins and other products) in developing countries will more than double in the next 25 years (Delgado et al. 1999)
Livestock Industry in Namwala District
It is historically, culturally and nationally recognized that the Namwala region in the Southern Province of Zambia is known for its cattle production. A strong market opportunity exists for the introduction of an exclusive brand of meat namely ILA BEEF.
While Namwala has a strong brand recognition for its cattle culture it is not competitive in the new sophisticated beef industry that is currently taking place in Zambia today. The present and future beef industry will require higher efficiency and differentiation to compete effectively. The threats include low productivity, drought, disease outbreaks and competition from other more sophisticated beef producers.
To mitigate against future losses and participate more fully in beef market share nationally it is proposed that the Namwala LIWI enter phase 1 of the proposed project by introducing a Cattle Fattening and Demonstration Farm (CFDF) and the establishment of Veterinary Laboratory services to increase beef production in the Namwala region. This initiative will not only be a key poverty alleviation tool but will also build awareness and capacity for the proposed Namwala LIWI – Namwala Livestock with Integrated Wildlife Management Trust.
The CFDF will go a long way in improving the live weight performance of mature animals through the project by using enhanced food rations that will be formulated from local available feed resources to boost producer’s incomes.
It is a proven fact that cattle fattening schemes are highly profitable with the cost/benefit ratio being 1 to 4.08. (Diarra, 1997).
Off-take, or sales from traditional beef sector show low ranging from 2-7% per annum in contrast to 15% from commercial beef sector.
Integrated Grassland Management
Grazing in the commons, i.e. the pasture areas of the Kafue Flats and the surrounding area have historically been unmanaged and are starting to show signs of overgrazing. Cattle numbers have increased with certain families fencing off areas which cause more overgrazing on certain spots. NACTT aims at assisting rural farmers understand better grazing techniques to ensure grasslands are better managed.
A program is being developed to enable a region wide rotational grazing system where groups of cattle will be moved periodically allowing grasses to recover and grow. This rotational method will also encourage nutrient recycling of manure from cattle.
Beef cattle rotational grazing has proven successful in other parts of Zambia as well as neighboring countries. It is proven that there is potential to commercialize and increase volumes of animals for slaughter while respecting the rangelands and their management.
The paramount tribal chiefs of Namwala district are committed to the better management of the Commons by sustainable grazing methods and NACTT is streamlining efforts to ensure the success of this project
Managing Diseases in the Namwala District
NACTT works at the reduction and management of animal diseases zoonosis spread through livestock, wildlife and humans.
Through analysis of the beef value chain we focus on the following interventions
Developing the Namwala district livestock sector
Reducing the spread of diseases
Animal health intervention to prevent and control animal diseases
WASH – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene