Gwanda Cattle Fattening Project Pays Off

Bambanani Self Help group members made a profit of $5 666,48 after they sold their 12 cows at one of Zimbabwe’s largest abattoirs.The group from Ngoma Village 20 in Gwanda sold the cows for $12 578,48 following the completion of a Hand in Hand Zimbabwe supported cattle fattening project.

The group which was formed in 2018 comprises of 11 members (8 females and 3 males) who expressed interest on cattle fattening and the lessons conducted by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe on Module 3: Opportunity Identification and Enterprise.

In May 2018, the SHG attended the cattle fattening training which was organized by Hand in Hand Zimbabwe and facilitated by the ward-based facilitator from the Crop and Livestock Department.

The technical skills training impacted the SHG with deeper knowledge and skills on cattle fattening and they started saving $20 each on a monthly basis.  The group members borrowed the money amongst themselves at an interest rate of 20% per month as this was meant to grow the fund for cattle fattening project.

The group managed to gather 11 cows valued at $3 500 and monthly savings worth $2 645 which was used to purchase and transport stock feeds from Gwanda Town.

On the 6th of October 2018, the pen fattening process started and the 11 cows were fattened for a period of two (2) months. Shortening the fattening period was deliberate as during the rainy season most cows gain weight due to the availability of green grass and water.

The group’s dedication and commitment resulted in them being part of the SHGs that were taken for a look and learn visit at Matopos Research Institute on 18 July 2018. The aim of the look and learn visit was for the SHGs to learn more about cattle fattening.

These experiences provided the participants with access to knowledge and information about cattle fattening, which gradually gave them greater empowerment. As a result, this look and learn visit enabled the Bambanani SHG to further design a methodology that improved the preparation, organization and adoption of new practices for cattle fattening.

The look and learn visit further instilled in-depth understanding on cattle fattening practices which led to the success of their business venture.

The expenses incurred during the project life cycle included value of purchasing cows, stock feeds, vaccines and transport costs which amounted to $6 912. The gross income realized was $12 578.48 and this enabled the Bambanani SHG to make profit of $5 666.48. The members paid themselves and each got $50 and the rest of the money remaining ($9 450.00) will be invested back into the project in the next production phase.

In an interview, the team leader Hawelo Moyo 55 said the initiative had immensely transformed the lives of group members as they moved from being mere poverty stricken villagers to being business people who can actually sell to national abattoirs.

He commended Hand in Hand Zimbabwe for the modules training and guidance citing that it had contributed to the growth of their enterprise.

“Hand in hand has helped us by teaching us on technical skills training, cattle fattening and linking us to the market

“Personally before meeting Hand in Hand Zimbabwe I never thought I would be able to manage such a viable business,” he said.

The table below shows the amount the SHG sold their fattened cows after being linked to Cold Storage Commission abattoir in Bulawayo

Cattle No. Grade Weight (kg) Amount ($)
1 Super 224.2 1 745.56
2 Super 214.2 1 665.56
3 Super 191.2 1 481.56
4 Choice 176.5 1 270.80
5 Choice 158.5 1 109.50
6 Choice 150.5 1 083.60
7 Choice 139.5 1 004.40
8 Choice 128.5 925.20
9 Choice 127.5 918.90
10 Economy 114.5 721.35
11 Economy 103.5 652.05
Total $12 578.48
Super        $7.75
Choice      $7.20
Economy $6.30


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