Story and Photos by Ezekiel Takawira | Project Officer | Heifer Zimbabwe
Since working with Heifer Zimbabwe, residents of Zaka district, in Masvingo province, are able to better organize the marketing of goats, cattle and poultry on their own. Their business success has already benefited co-op group members and the surrounding communities.
The organized marketing and sale of goats has increased prices. The average price of a Heifer participant's goat has gone from $15-20 per goat to around $40 per goat.
Today the Heifer co-op groups have become regular and reliable sources of healthy and clean goats in their communities. The district committee has supplied about 1,200 goats to Heifer Zimbabwe.
The district committee charges a commission per animal sold. The money generated is then used to cover administrative costs and to support other project activities such as training. This year the district committee purchased two burdizzos (castration devices) and an ear tag applicator that will be used by the group members.
Improved goat marketing and fair prices have led to improved livelihoods and project sustainability. Farmers realize that their animals are valuable assets that, with proper care and management, may be used to create wealth.