Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Matabeleland South Bureau
THE introduction of the sustainable dipping model by the Government in Matabeleland South Province has helped to lower cattle deaths with a number of farmers likely to reach the recommended annual dipping sessions, a development which has helped reduce incidences of tick-borne diseases.
In 2020 the Department of Veterinary Services introduced the sustainable acaricide model to model in four districts in Matabeleland South province. Under the new model farmers contribute money and buy acaricide straight from the suppliers. Government has made arrangements for suppliers to deliver the acaricide to dip tanks in various villages.
Previously, under the Government acaricide model farmers paid a dipping levy to Government.
The system required farmers from each dip dank to pay a dip levy which is then moved to ward level then to district level and then provincial level before it is submitted to the national office.
As a result, farmers were receiving their acaricide late. In an interview Matabeleland South provincial veterinary officer, Dr Enat Mdlongwa says the sustainable dipping model has so far been implemented in Beitbridge, Insiza, Umzingwane and Matobo. He said to kick-start the programme UNDP had provided farmers from the four districts with six months supply of acaricide.
“The sustainable dipping model has helped us as we seek to promote effective dipping of animals. Farmers have been linked with acaricide suppliers and they mobilise funds and buy the acaricide. This way farmers have the acaricide delivered to them timeously. As a department we continue monitoring dipping sessions and ensuring that all animals are dipped,” he said.
Dr Mdlongwa added: “Under the model farmers should be busy mobilising funds to buy acaricide supplies for next year. As we speak some dip tanks are purchasing their acaricide supplies for 2023 although some are still behind. Some farmers are likely to reach the recommended 32 annual dipping sessions as a result of this model.”
He said they were in the process of deliberating on whether the model could now be implemented in the remaining three districts of the province.
Dr Mdlongwa urged farmers to continue buying bulk acaricide in advance from the suppliers to ensure undisrupted supply. He also urged farmers to work towards achieving the recommended 32 dipping sessions.
Dr Mdlongwa said extension workers in the four pilot districts have been trained under the sustainable dipping model and they have also capacitated farmers.
“The only way to eradicate tick-borne diseases which have been affecting animals is through effective dipping of animals. These tick-borne diseases are now cutting across provinces because of poor dipping services. We want to accelerate dipping services by ensuring farmers pay the market rate price for their acaricide supply. An animal should be dipped 32 times a year,” he said.–@DubeMatutu