Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile, will launch the Nguni cattle breeding project for emerging black farmers in Melkhoutfontein, Rus de Winter farm, on Thursday.
This is in line with the commitment to increase the contribution of agriculture and agro-processing to the economy of Gauteng.
The Nguni breed is indigenous to Southern Africa and is renowned for its high fertility, long reproductive lifespan and its adaptability to hostile grazing conditions.
The project involves the loaning of 30 pregnant Nguni heifers and one bull to emerging black farmers for breeding.
After a period of five years, participating farmers are expected to return the same amount of cattle (offspring) or an equivalent rand value.
Speaking about the project, MEC Maile said Gauteng is looking at increasing the 0.4% contribution of agriculture to the provincial economy by focusing on adding value to agricultural products.
“This initiative must not be seen in isolation from our strategy to make Gauteng a hub for agro-processing and agri-business.
“Our investment in livestock farming will have long-term multiplier effects on other sectors of the economy such as the manufacturing of hides and leather products,” he said.
The MEC stressed that constant monitoring, farmer support through extension services and project management training will be crucial in the success of this initiative.
This initiative, which is in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the University of Pretoria, is aimed at increasing the number of black livestock farmers in Gauteng.
The long-term objective is to enable the province to develop a niche market for organically produced beef and to meet domestic and international demands.
It is in line with the Agro-Processing Strategy, which calls for partnerships to assist emerging farmers with capacity building economic infrastructure such as feedlots and abattoirs and to gain a foothold in food production markets. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za