By Ishemunyoro Chingwere
Zimbabwe’s annual premier breeding livestock auction, National Bull Sale, saw the price for the most expensive beast in the bulls category vault 195 percent to $24 000 up from the $8 400 recorded at last years edition.
There was high turnout at the auction amid a higher demand for best genetics animal, particularly beef, which comes at a time President Mnangagwa’s Government is working hard to revive the beef industry.
The President has already announced that Government had agreed with a foreign investor who is ready to invest $100 million to revive bust meat processing firm, the Cold Storage Company (CSC).
In an interview with The Herald Business at the auction, Zimbabwe Livestock Registry Authority, the Zimbabwe Herd Book (ZHB), said the higher figures that farmers were parting with for breeding livestock was a sign that the industry had confidence in the animals, which stud breeders brought to the market and this would cascade down the entire beef industry value chain.
ZHB was established through an Act of Parliament in 1980 to maintain the registry for all stud breeders, who produce pure genetics animals, by collecting all requisite information, performance figures and making sure rules and regulations of respective breed societies are respected and adhered to.
Of the total 107 bulls on sale at the 50th edition of the auction, just two were dairy breeds while the other 105 were beef breeds among them the popular Brahman, the indigenous Tuli, the Boran, Simmental and Beefmaster.
“These are pedigree cattle on offer here and pedigree cattle are your seed stock,” said ZHB general manager Dr Mario Beffa.
“If you want to grow maize, for example, you go to a seed house and buy a known brand of seed because you want the best and predictability for your particular environment. So what you have here is a selection of some of the best seed stock from some of the registered breeders available in the country.
“So if you want to change or uplift your genetics, whether you are a commercial or communal farmer you come here to buy because the stud breeder knows where the industry is moving.
“He (stud breeder) is constantly trying to improve and change to make sure that he is supplying the seed stock that is needed by the commercial industry and this is now an opportunity for the commercial industry to come and pick what they think is going to work.
“This is the best of the best, top top genetics, very high standards, very high quality as you can see from the prices being offered, the commercial farmer is agreeing, paying $14 500 on a bull, $2 700 on a buck (or) a goat, its confidence.
“It also says I like what I see and I am prepared to pay top dollar for top genetics so yes I think they are good but the actual test is not what I think but what the industry thinks,” said Dr Mario Beffa.
Also on offer at the auction were stud goats and sheep with the increasingly popular Boer goats a hit with farmers. The highest selling buck from Zviko Farms in Featherstone went for $2 700. The Herald