As the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) continues to ravage Matsiloje Village and other areas in the North East District, Member of Parliament for Tati East, Samson Guma Moyo last week called on cattle farmers to play an active role in fighting the disease.
Moyo said that the government alone cannot overcome the problem without the input of farmers.
Moyo was addressing residents of Matshelagabedi on Monday during an emergency meeting that was held to notify the residents on the recent outbreak of FMD in the village.
“It is high time that you should stop folding arms and expect the government to solve your problems alone,” he said.
The legislator told the villagers that FMD is a concern because it is already causing damage to the economy of the country. He mentioned that the infected cattle that will be killed will be a heavy loss to the cattle owners and urged farmers to take an active role in helping the government to combat the problem before the situation turns worse.
“The Foot and Mouth Diseases is a huge concern because a high number of cattle have already been killed in Matsiloje and now Matshelagabedi will soon experience the same problem,” he said.
He pointed a blaming finger at the cattle farmers saying that there seems to be poor management of cattle by farmers, which has undermined efforts to eradicate the disease as some farmers continue to smuggle infected cattle in the areas that are not infected. He said that although the outbreak has been blamed on neighbouring Zimbabwe, the farmers need to understand that blaming will not solve any problem.
Moyo also revealed that recently a delegation from Botswana was sent to the Zimbabwean government to try and share ideas on how the spread of the disease from Zimbabwe could be mitigated and the meeting bore positive results as both governments are working cooperatively on sorting out the problem.
“What I can assure you is that the team that was sent to Zimbabwe to meet with the officials there has come up with a positive response as the two countries have decided to cooperate to try and sort out the problem,” he concluded.
The emergency meeting at Matshelagabedi on Monday was convened by the Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Oreeditse Molebatsi, to address the residents on the recent outbreak of the disease in their area. 75 cattle in the village have been diagnosed with FMD.