Pasture depletion has hit Matabeleland South province and this has worsened the plights of villagers from in Maphisa who are also trying to survive the effects of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic which was made worse by Zimbabwe’s declining economy, The Standards reports.
The pasture depletion was confirmed by Artwell Sibanda, a Kezi communal farmer who said this to the publication:
We are in a catch-22 situation where we [humans] have to compete for water with livestock for survival… An outgrower scheme farm where villagers can be partnered to produce lucerne is one way of ensuring a lasting solution to the issue of lack of pastures.
Speaking about the same plight of pasture depletion, Chief Nyangazonke appealed to well-wishers to help them with pastures and said:
We are pleading with private land [farm] owners to allow villagers to come and cut grass to save their livestock, or at best, to open up their grazing lands for a fee or through exchange for labour.
We need supplementary feeding to save livestock. Over the years, we have seen some organisations coming in to assist and pray this will be the case again this year,
Cattle dealers are reportedly flocking into Maphisa and forcing desperate villagers to sell their beasts for as little as R3000. Last year over 21 000 cattle died due to pasture depletion and water shortages in Matabeleland.
More: The Standard