Patterns Of Livestock Ownership And Distribution In Zimbabwe's Communal Areas
MetadataShow full item record
Communal farmers are the major owners of livestock in Zimbabwe. In 1988 they owned 68% of all cattle, 99% of all goats, 84% of all sheep, and 60% of all pigs. Moreover, this dominance of national livestock holdings is growing notably in the beef sector where communal farmers,have increased their share of the national beef herd from 55% in 1980 to 68% in 1988 ’(CSO, 1989) . These trends in ownership have two major implications: for agricultural policy. The immediate effect is a growing shortage of beef for domestic consumption, due to the much lower off-take rates in the communal sector (1%-3%) as opposed to the commercial sector (18%- 23%). Prime determinants of this low off-take rate include an average herd size of 7.1 cattle (MLARR), and the fact that Communal farmers value cattle for their contribution to crop production (through draft and manure); rather than as a direct source of cash income (Cousins, 1989). This later conflict between household needs for food /security and national requirements for meat production poses a major dilemma for policy-makers.