Industry: Cattle and beef processing
Silverlands Ranching is comprised of a cattle ranch and beef value chain business in Zambia. A large dam and pivot irrigation have been installed to provide low cost irrigated pastures and fodder production. The business is developing feed-lots and processing to add value and to take advantage of its own fodder production.
The SilverStreet team has developed a smallholder farmer outreach program to support their production of cattle. This is called the Silverlands Livestock Improvement Community Program or “SLIC” program. This program has been widely praised in Zambia as a model approach to developing the agricultural sector.
The business has engaged with the local community and identified its need for veterinary assistance and cattle ‘dipping’ to reduce cattle mortalities in the community herd. The communities in the Zimba area have not been dipping their cattle for some 15-20 years on average. The SLIC program started in mid-2014 and, from a standing start, has developed 14 “dipping” stations to date for small scale cattle farmers and over 12,000 head of small-holder cattle are now accessing these dipping sites on a monthly basis. This number is rising steadily as more communities join the program and four more sites scheduled for 2017.
This community engagement project has helped reduce disease and cattle mortality rates amongst neighbouring small scale farmer herds substantially with mortality rates from tick-borne diseases falling from 7% to under 1%. Calving rates in the community herd are also improving as a result of the improved cattle health and are some 30% higher than neighbouring communities that are not yet in the program.
Silverlands Ranching is now developing a “value chain” business on the ranch, namely a feed-lot and processing business to provide a local market for small scale farmers to sell their cattle into. The SLIC program is improving small-holder cattle health and raising calving rates which will provide the business with a regular, healthy source of cattle into the feed-lots.