THE cattle auction system, which was operationalised by Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) a few months ago has thrown a lifeline to small-scale farmers with the scheme enabling them to discover the true economic value of their animals.
AMA agribusiness director Mr Jonathan Mukuruba said the move to establish these auction systems was strategic in guaranteeing that farmers are insulated from bogus middlemen that rip them off.
The Government, through AMA, is implementing the cattle auction systems to bring back some sanity and order in the cattle industry, as unscrupulous dealers had become a nuisance to farmers.
The establishment of the cattle auction system is a step towards centralising the cattle buying market.
“All along private buyers and local authorities were the major operators in the industry and going onwards AMA will take over the marketing of cattle through established auction systems,” said Mr Mukuruba.
The Government has since started rehabilitating cattle pens all over the country to ensure there was order in the cattle auction system.
“We are currently rehabilitating cattle pens so that farmers can easily access the market in their respective provinces”, added Makuruba.
Business advisor and livestock value chain financier, Mr Morris Mpala chipped in saying the establishment of marketing platforms for small-scale farmers was a welcome development that would help in price discovery of their animals on the public market and created a win-win situation for most stakeholders in the cattle value chain, as streamlining of the cattle value chain continued.
“This is the way to go and was long overdue. It needs to be spread across the whole country, as this brings value to the main player who is the farmer amid fraudulent buyers who would buy for a song to farmers whilst getting value from the abattoirs or other third party players”, said Mr Mpala.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is implementing the livestock and recovery growth plan aimed at increasing the country’s head count to 6million by 2023 from the current 5.5million in a bid to meet national demand and whilst targeting the export market.
The rolling out of such initiatives is pivotal in developing the beef value chain to yester-year glory, so that farmers can get the full value from their cattle rearing activities as the Government calls for the remodeling of the cattle marketing platforms so that smallholder farmers can have a ready market for their animals. – Herald