Pahlela Phikanisi is a 60year old small to medium-scale beef cattle producer from Musisinyane village of Chikombedzi in Chiredzi district. He is one of the 38 Farmers (30 males and 8 females) who inducted their cattle Mhlanguleni CBC and Chanienga Satellite CBC feedlots in Chiredzi district.
“In this area, we have been struggling with a market dominated by middlemen who purchase cattle at very low prices and then make huge profits. This scenario discourages many farmers We realised that this trend discouraged investment in animal husbandry by the farmers in the district”, said Pahlela
Lack of organised marketing of cattle in Zimbabwe is one of the bottlenecks affecting beef cattle production. As a result, smallholder farmers resort to the informal way of marketing their cattle, with middlemen arbitrarily setting prices and offloading the animals at cattle auction points and to abattoirs in towns often benefiting more than the farmers themselves.
Pahlela sold two Brahman cross steers after feedloting them for 45 days during which time they gained an average weight of 95 kg. The two animals weighed 690 kg and 670 kg and improved grade from economy at induction, up to commercial at slaughter. They had a total value of US$ 2,064 after slaughter.
“After deductions for the costs feed, induction, grading and inspection, I took home US$1,682. I used part of the proceeds to purchase a variety of household items for my family and agricultural inputs for the 4-hectare plot where I have planted maize and sorghum. I am also constructing a three roomed house in my homestead.
We are grateful for the BEST project for this CBC model and linking us directly to the market. With this new knowledge that we now have and the improved incomes, I foresee a brighter future for cattle producers in this district. I will be fattening four additional animals in the 2021 pen fattening season”, said Pahlela