Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Call to mend Save Conservancy fence

Call to mend Save Conservancy fence

Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau
FARMERS in Chipinge have called on Government and the National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to expedite the mending of the double line boundary fence on the Save Conservancy to avoid more foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks in the area. The fence was vandalised earlier this year resulting in buffaloes straying into communal grazing pastures thereby infecting other animals in and outside the conservancy.

Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) Manicaland provincial manager Mr Daniel Mungazi told The Herald over the weekend that continued interaction with wildlife would increase FMD outbreaks in the Middle Sabi area.

“Our farmers in Chipinge have continued to face the challenge of wildlife coming into the area from the conservancy and this means they are consistently fighting off FMD, which is brought to the grazing areas by the buffaloes,” he said.

ZFU is currently holding consultative meetings with farmers in the district under the inclusive policy dialogue for social development project. The project is aimed at enhancing the participation of 20 000 rural farmers in policy and social dialogue for food security and nutrition.

“The topical issue at the meeting we held in Chipinge on Thursday was interaction of wildlife with livestock in the Middle Sabi area. The fence is still down and lions wander into the communities and kill livestock while buffaloes spread foot and mouth disease. Farmers are not happy with this and have called on the National Parks to do something about it,” said Mr Mungazi.

He said Wards 4, 16, 26 and 27 were the most affected in the district. Chipinge has always been prone to FMD outbreaks and the most recent outbreak was experienced in August this year. A shortage of vaccines frustrated efforts to contain the outbreak, which had affected hundreds of cattle in the district.

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