Overt Chihumba Agri Insight
W.In a country that has recorded a 47% reduction in cattle mortality thanks to various initiatives deployed by the government, all stakeholders along the value chain will be encouraged to enhance the benefits already achieved. It is important to work for
In order to realize the dream of exterminating mites, farmers are required to play a leading role and take the lead.
Livestock producers need to build on the momentum built so far. By adopting the concentrated soaking method, he soaks the cows three times in two weeks, during which time he applies the mites grease.
Mite grease must be applied correctly — In the ears, under the tail, and in the tail bushes are feeding grounds for the brown dust mites, which transmit the infamous January disease (Theileriosis), which has killed hundreds of thousands of cattle in recent years.
Due to this development, many peasants had no conscription rights and could not keep cattle for other purposes.
But it required government intervention to put a stop to the madness through the fluent use of soaking chemicals, followed by the President’s Dani Grease Program, which targets over one million households.
Since then, more than 600,000 households nationwide have received tick oil from the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), and farmers who have not yet collected it from their nearest Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot for soaking. are trying to increase Controls the spread of tick-borne diseases.
The grease is being distributed free of charge under the Presidential Blitz Tick Grease Program, launched by the government at the peak of the disease holocaust in January that threatened to wipe out the entire nation’s cattle industry.
Program beneficiaries only need to complete a stock card to obtain Grease. DVS has a master register where all stockholders are registered.
The register also shows the number of cattle and what vaccinations the animals may have received.
DVS also notes that it has gone to great lengths to ensure that grease is available to farmers, and has since distributed an allotted 600,000 kilograms of supplies to all disease hotspots in January. is fresh.
This was reinforced by the distribution of 100 tons of soaking chemicals across the country. This allows farmers to soak their cattle regularly while more chemicals are sourced.
Farmers should also be aware that soaking cattle is mandatory to win the battle to end the January disease. The immersion program is consistent with the government’s aim to introduce a national development strategy1 that prioritizes animal health and production by enhancing farmers’ knowledge, livestock production and health skills to improve productivity. I’m here.
The government also intends to rebuild cattle herds across the country with the Ministry of Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development launching a immersion resuscitation program aimed at improving basic immersion infrastructure across the country. made very clear.
Over 500 dip tanks have been rehabilitated and a corresponding number of backup boreholes drilled to ensure an uninterrupted supply of water for dipping throughout the year.
There are currently 4,099 dip tanks in the country. This excludes privately owned dip tanks, which are becoming more common these days as many farmers take a business approach to their livestock business.
To add icing to the cake, the government has resumed production of tick vaccines after calling the project time some time ago.
To date, we have produced 20,460 doses of Theileria Bolvac vaccine to control tick-borne disease.
Of course, the government aims to completely eliminate the tick threat so that the cattle industry can fully recover, and more vaccines will be produced. Effective use of Theileria vaccines in conjunction with other measures will reduce cattle mortality and promote high productivity, productivity and profitability as envisaged in livestock and recovery growth plans. helps.
Over 65% of cattle deaths in Zimbabwe are due to tick-borne diseases, with Theileriosis (January disease) being the leading cause. Between 2018 and his 2022, more than half a million of his cows, worth more than US$150 million, died from the disease.
The disease, which is prevalent from January, December to March, is transmitted through the bites of ear mites. To protect animals, farmers must ensure that ticks are ingested for soaking so that they do not develop to the stage of transmitting disease. When farmers use spray dips, it is important to make sure the animals are completely immersed.
Farmers need at least 3-5 liters of dip wash per animal to get the results they want.
Farmers can also help in their cause by enlisting the assistance of local veterinary extension workers in undertaking to implement their own tick control measures.
Interestingly, DVS has since seen positive developments in that farmers are heeding calls to soak their animals, and DVS chief director Dr. said it was impressive.
Therefore, it is important for farmers to continue soaking animals as stipulated by law and the department, and in the fight against tick-borne diseases, it is important to soak cattle religiously. Always remember this.
On the one hand, it is also important for farmers to consult a veterinary officer if they discover or suspect signs of unhealthiness in their livestock so that experts can identify the problem and advise on what to do next.
In the January disease, affected animals present with swollen lymph nodes under the ears and shoulders, cloudy eyes, and difficulty breathing with foam from the nose and mouth.
Affected animals collapse and die within days. January disease is a notifiable disease in Zimbabwe and farmers are required by law to report any suspicions to their DVS.
It is also important that DVS conducts awareness campaigns about the need to water cattle to a higher level so that all farmers get the message.
An awareness campaign may need to include a road show. Road shows are known to make a long-lasting impression on people’s minds compared to brochures, which are usually thrown away shortly after distribution.