Zambia needs to more than double its current 7 million heads of cattle to exploit the beef export market, says Zambian livestock minister Michael Katambo. The minister said Zambia is unable to meet international demand.
“The current cattle population of between six and seven million was only enough to meet the local demand,” Katambo said. Katambo said Zambia can produce more than 15 million heads of cattle, because of abundant pasture land for grazing.
Furthermore, government’s measures to eradicate animal diseases created an improved environment for a huge cattle population to thrive. “Cattle diseases had in the past been a huge problem for the growth of cattle population, but this has now greatly diminished,” Katambo said.
According to him, the construction of animal centres in all districts – at a cost of K10million – will further enhance the growth of the cattle population. The centres will also play a vital role in ensuring cattle numbers are updated regularly, while traceability will be easily implemented.