South Africa – Farmers in the Eastern Cape have welcomed the handover of 17 Nguni cattle bulls as part of the Livestock Production Improvement Scheme (LIPS) .
The handover was recently officiated by the Eastern Cape MEC of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, Nonkqubela Pieters .
The provincial Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) is driving the commercialisation of livestock development in communal and smallholder farming communities in order to increase red meat production in the Eastern Cape .
Through partnerships with the private and public sector, the department continues to support farmers to participate in the agricultural value chain, contribute to the economy and create jobs .
The livestock was handed over to farmers in the Sarah Baartman, Amathole and OR Tambo Districts .
The initiative was made possible by the department in partnership with the East Cape Nguni Club and the Dohne Agricultural Development Institute .
“…These cattle [are beautiful] and they are given to [the farmers] so that they can make money .
I’m giving [them] a responsibility to guard their money .
“Our aim is to develop farmers to become commercial, hence this programme and we encourage farmers to guard and use these animals wisely for the benefit of their businesses,” Pieters said .
Farmers expressed their gratitude, saying the bulls will improve the quality of their livestock and fetch good prices at the market .
Ntombomzi Qeqe-Lwana, of Die Vlagte farm in Somerset East, hailed the department’s endeavours to ensure communal farmers are given resources and investments that will help them produce quality meat and get profits .
“I thank the department very much for these Nguni bulls because it will assist me to change my flock and my customers will get satisfaction .
This handover came at a good time .
When we start the new year, we will know we have quality breeds to develop our cattle .
“It’s a good programme as it assists us to venture into markets and get profits so that we can fend for our families and create employment,” Qeqe-Lwana said .
Sicelo Rozani from Libode said he was farming with both cattle and sheep .
He applied for assistance from the department and was elated to get two bulls .
“We are very grateful to the department for this gift .
It will assist us in growing our enterprises in the rural space,” Rozani said .
In the 2023/24 financial year, the department set aside a budget of R12 .
8 million to support communal and smallholder farmers with 250 cattle, 500 sheep and 200 goats to enhance red meat and animal fibre development in the province .