First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Mashonaland East Minister of State and Devolution Aplonia Munzverengwi, Chief Chikwaka (Mr Witness Bungu) and other chiefs look at some of the Boer goats in Mashonaland East yesterday
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has unveiled a Boer goat rearing project for rural communities as she forges ahead with her empowerment programmes.
Boer goats, which have a fast growth rate, are popular for their superior meat quality which fetches high prices on the market.
The First Lady, who is an all-rounder, has initiated various projects to empower rural communities, including market gardening, farming, livestock rearing and sewing.
Through her philanthropic arm, Angel of Hope Foundation, the mother of the nation runs around gathering materials and resources for various projects which she then shares among the people countrywide.
The latest project by the First Lady is also expected to ensure ordinary Zimbabweans contribute to the development of the country’s mainstream economy and earn clean money at a time when others were falling into commercial sex work and drug abuse.
She launched the project in Mashonaland East Province at Chief Chikwaka, Mr Chamunorwirachii Murambiwa Witness Bungu’s homestead where she handed over the Boer goats breeding stock.
The programme will cascade to all the country’s provinces.
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa addresses delegates during the launch of a Boer goats breeding programme in Mashonaland East.— Picture: John Manzongo
Yesterday’s programme was held in observance of Covid-19 protocols of washing hands, sanitising, masking and observing social distance.
People were also being tested for Covid-19.
In her address, the First Lady said she decided to have the programme at the chief’s homestead for transparency and accountability purposes.
“I have come here so that we share ideas on how to improve our lives through various projects involving the use of our hands,” she said.
“I have brought a Boer goat-rearing project so that they give us success.
“Those in the know see me running about assisting those who cannot stand on their own like orphans and boys and girls living and working on the streets, but as a mother I also do many other things to help people.”
The First Lady said goats were important livestock and advocated the need to cross breed locally-available breeds with the Boer goats to improve meat quality and attract better prices.
“I have come with a programme to improve the types of goats we have using Boer goats,” she said.
“This type of goat earns three times more than the price of the ordinary goat on the market. This is not just a programme for this province as I am taking this to other provinces. I urge you all to run with this programme because it improves lives and our pockets.”
Successful implementation of the project, the First Lady said, would also help parents afford to send their children to schools up to tertiary level and meet other costs in the home.
She implored chiefs, headmen and other community leaders to run the project properly to ensure every member of the community benefits.
“As communities, ndinotarisira kuzokokwa nemi muchinditaridza kubatsirikana kwamunenge maita nechirongwa ichi,” she said.
Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Aplonia Munzverengwi said her province was fully-prepared to run the life-changing programme.
“This project has pleased us greatly. As a province, we rely on agriculture, rearing goats, cattle, sheep and chickens. This helps our province continue to develop and we shall soon be known for producing quality goats and not those without names. From now going forward we shall be known for rearing big name breeds.
Chiefs follow proceedings yesterday.-Picture: John Manzongo
“During the days of the CSC (Cold Storage Commission) cattle used to be graded and we shall have goat meat with grades. The goats will be loved by many and there shall be jobs creation from rearing to slaughtering and selling the meat here and in other countries.
“We are grateful Amai that you have assisted because alone, our farmers may fail to get this kind of breed because it is expensive. We also appreciate the fact that you launched this project at the chief’s homestead.
“The chief superintends over his community because if you had given me the goats I would fence them in so that I alone may be known for producing quality breeds,” she jokingly said.
Chief Chikwaka, who is also the vice chairperson of the Mashonaland East Provincial Chiefs Council, was at a loss of words and thanked the First Lady for her love.
“Today I am celebrating on behalf of all chiefs here in Zimbabwe. The mother of the nation has seen it fit to unveil this programme of improving the wealth we have in rural areas. Today she has come to give us Boer goats to improve the quality of goats that we have.
“The aim is for everyone to improve the quality of goats that they have. We hope to carry this programme forward,” he said with happiness.
Chief Chikwaka said since the males had capacity to service over 40 females each, he would invite headmen to bring 40 goats per ward until all communities benefit.
Already, paddocks have been erected for this project and Chief Chikwaka added that all the chiefs in the province would also do the same for the benefit of their communities.
Mr Norman Matewa, a Boer goat and cattle farmer implored members of the community to embrace Boer goats which he said he had worked with for over four years now.
“Boer goats are good, but expensive,” he said.
“I advise other farmers that they can get the goats by cross breeding our local goats with the Boer goats like what the First Lady has taught us today. This project by the mother of the nation is very important because it gives farmers access to these expensive goats. These goats have much meat which is of superior quality compared to the goats we normally keep.”
As an expert in Boer goat rearing, Mr Matewa promised to assist the First Lady through sharing knowledge with the new farmers who would have benefited from the programme.
“I will help other farmers through sharing with them the knowledge and expertise that I have,” he said.
“If communities are to keep them as the First Lady has advised, they can make money that is equivalent to that earned by someone who is rearing cattle.”
A villager, Mrs Naume Dandadzi said: “I have been gratified by the project that has been brought to us by Amai, the First Lady. We cannot afford to buy these type of goats because they are expensive but the First Lady has given us for free.
“She has brought wealth to our homes, communities and the nation at large. This project will enable us to pay school fees for our children, buy other necessities and on top of that gives us quality meat to eat in our homes.”
SOURCE: The Herald