Farmers in Matabeleland South Province have been urged to gear up for the introduction of command agriculture in the livestock sector as it is set to transform the prime ranching region and revive the national herd.

This came out during the national command agriculture field day held at ARDA Antelope Estate in Maphisa, Matobo District this Wednesday.

Following the successful implementation of the Command Agriculture Programme that had targeted to produce 2.2 million metric tonnes of maize this season, the government has assured farmers in the southern parts of the country that the scheme will soon be extended to the livestock sector.

The Minister of State in Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office, Cde Clifford Sibanda said boosting crop and livestock production is key to the agro-based economy.

He encouraged livestock farmers to fully embrace the scheme when it is introduced to ensure its success.

Acting Minister of State for Matabeleland South Province, Cde Abednico Ncube said extending support to livestock farmers will go a long way in reviving the country’s national herd that has been depleted by consecutive years of drought and diseases.

ARDA Antelope Estate, which put 480 hectares of land under maize and is expecting to harvest 10 tonnes per hectare, was commended for being a shining example of the Command Agriculture Programme.

To complement its farming activities, the estate has 730 weaners and plans to increase the number to 2000.