Monday 29 April 2024


IMPRESSED by Zimbabwe’s top-notch pedigree cattle breeds exhibited during the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, Kenyan President Dr William Ruto’s government has reached out to local farmers to facilitate the importation of 15 Simmental bulls and 40 heifers to the East African country.

President Ruto was the guest of honour at this year’s premier trade expo, which he officially opened on Saturday.

Earlier on he, together with President Mnangagwa, conducted a tour of exhibition stands and was particularly charmed by the country’s livestock at the Bulawayo Agricultural Show Society, which runs concurrently with the annual ZITF.

President Ruto was impressed with Simmental cattle owned by prominent Matabeleland South farmer, Mr Obert Chinhamo, who runs a successful enterprise at his farm on the outskirts of Bulawayo, a walking distance from the Gwanda Highway, about 27km from the city centre.

Following President Ruto’s visit to his stand, Mr Chinhamo and other farmers will now export 15 Simmental bulls and 40 heifers to Kenya.

This is seen as a milestone development that could open huge opportunities for local farmers as spin-offs from the flourishing Zimbabwe-Kenya bilateral ties.

“I have been contacted by a government official from Kenya who stated that the process to export our Simmental breed to that country has been initiated and from our herd, I have already selected the best beasts that we will send to Kenya,” said Mr Chinhamo in an interview at his farm yesterday.

“The Kenyan government official said they want about 15 bulls and between 30 and 40 heifers, depending on how many cattle can be loaded into the truck.

“You can only load so much in a truck for the long journey to Kenya.

“The 15 bulls that will be exported are what we call working bulls in the sense that they are ready to mate and the same goes with the 40 heifers that they want but we are not exporting pregnant heifers as they can have complications during the trip and abort.

“I have already contacted other Simmental breeders to select their best breeds so that together we can meet the numbers that the Kenyans want.”

Mr Chinhamo’s life story is one of hard work, diligence, perseverance, and self-belief from the time he ventured into selling second-hand clothes in the early 90s while working as a fitter and turner for the Cold Storage Company (CSC). He bought his farm in 1994.

“I have been breeding cattle for the last 30 years, but when I started, I was into commercial breeding where I would buy cattle from farmers in surrounding areas for fattening in feedlots,” he said. Herald  


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