Thandeka Matebesi, Business Reporter
TWO farmers from Nyamandlovu are counting their losses after they lost 10 beasts after their worker mistakenly gave the animals chemicals mixed with stalk borer powder which he had mistaken for a chemical to treat intestinal infections.
Mr Beverage Sibanda of Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu area lost six cattle from a herd of nine while Mr William Moyo of the same area lost four cattle from his herd of eight when their herdboy mistakenly mixed the chemicals. The two farmers who are based in Bulawayo were last week called to witness the unfortunate incident as their investments were wiped out within minutes.
“We both work in Bulawayo and we had to rush to Nyamandlovu after being told that our cattle had been poisoned. What happened is that a day before the incident occurred I had received stalk borer chemicals from South Africa and when the herdboy came to get the chemicals there was only a young girl at home who gave him the stalk borer powder.
He then realised he used the wrong chemical when the cattle began to collapse one by one after their licked the chemical. He rushed to call the Veterinary Services who advised him to administer grounded charcoal mixed with water to the cattle. All the cattle were down but a few survived after being given the solution,” said Mr Sibanda.
Mr Sibanda said he was devastated by the loss and has come to accept that it was not necessarily the herdboy’s problem.
“We do appreciate that accidents happen and we cannot punish the helper for one mistake. I also know that we did not have much, but the little that we had was really helpful in carrying out farming activities.
We are appealing for assistance from those who would like to help in any way,” said Mr Sibanda.
Umguza Veterinary Livestock technician Mr Mexison Ndlovu confirmed the incident.
“We received a report of two farmers who lost 10 cattle when a herdboy used the wrong chemical on the cattle. I’m also told that the herdboy was also affected by the chemicals and we are doing everything in our power to help these farmers,” said Mr Ndlovu.