The Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) says cattle auctions will continue across the country as the entity seeks to flush out middlemen that have been ripping off farmers.
The absence of auctions had seen farmers failing to get value for their cattle.
“The cattle auction systems are meant to ensure fair, effective and efficient marketing of livestock. This initiative will help solve the problem of ‘middlemenship’ because for a long time, farmers have suffered at the hands of unscrupulous buyers. Farmers should get value for their livestock,” AMA chief executive officer Clever Isaya told Business Times.
In September, AMA introduced the first communal cattle auction in Insiza.
Isaya said 85 herd of cattle valued at US$31 390 were sold at the inaugural cattle auction in Insiza, adding that cattle auction sales “shall continue countrywide so that farmers can realise the full value of their livestock”.
“The livestock sector has the potential to contribute meaningfully to economic growth,” he said.
The introduction of communal cattle auction comes as AMA is being remodelled to lay the path for the growth of the agriculture sector.
AMA is working on a national farmers’ database to ensure better planning.
“One of our functions is to advise the Government. We can only be in a position to advise the Government if we have the numbers of who is growing what and where? This database will obviously aid us in decision-making. The database will also help us in market linkages,” Isaya said.