A recent meeting notice advertised by the Department of Fisheries and Livestock in local newspapers, indicates that the export of small ruminants may be a possibility for Zambian farmers in the not too distant future.
Saudi Arabia is the export destination currently under discussion, but, according to the government, other markets in the Gulf region of the Middle East and in the southern African countries of Angola and the DRC may be part of future export scenario planning.
The department has invited interested parties and stakeholders to the meeting which is to be be held on 15 November. Farmers, NGOs, individuals and representative groups involved in production, trade and marketing of goats and sheep, are urged to attend and contribute their insight to the proceedings.
“Arising from bilateral consultation between the Zambian government through the ministries of Fisheries and Livestock and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Zambia’s agricultural sector, the production and supply of goats and sheep for export to Saudi Arabia was one of the key areas identified for investment in Zambia,” said the notice.
The intention of the meeting is to share experience and review the investment plan and existing opportunities for the development of the Zambian small stock value chain.
According to a Dr Moosa Ameen, of Agrivet Africa, there is tremendous opportunity for growth in the small ruminant sector in Zambia.
“Our sheep numbers are limited but we do have a lot of goats,” said Ameen. “The areas that need attention are nutrition, management and animal husbandry. Our local breeds are smaller than their South African counterparts and exporters need to be sure that the size is what the market demands.”