Farmers loan cattle to newcomers

6 August 2007

A group of cattle farmers from Ermelo in Mpumalanga province have loaned 50 Sanganer cattle worth R200 000 to 16 emerging farmers to help them get the skills they need to establish their own enterprises.

The farmers, identified and given training by the Mpumalanga branch of the National African Farmers’ Union, will take care of the cattle for a certain period and be allowed to keep any calves born in that time.

This project would ensure “that he who has many empowers those who do not have,” provincial agriculture minister Dina Pule said at the handover of the cattle in Ermelo last week.

The Sanganer project is a joint initiative of the provincial government, the Mpumalanga Agricultural Farmers’ Union, the Sanganer Cattle Breeders’ Association, and commercial farmers represented by Schalk von Rheede from Oudtshoorn.

Research conducted by the Mpumalanga department of agriculture recommended that emerging farmers be encouraged to raise Hiefer (Sanganer) cattle.

Sanganer are a hardy breed, resistant to ticks, can tolerate hot and humid conditions, and graze under natural conditions without requiring additional feed.

The department set aside 100 hectares of veld for the emerging farmers to use as grazing land, the farmers’ union provided fencing and the breeders’ association provided the initial stock of 48 cows and two bulls.

The union gave the newcomers initial training in livestock production, veld management, and animal health and breeding, while the department will visit the farmers every week to provide follow-up and support.

Source: BuaNews