The Western Cape minister of agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently handed over registered bulls to seven small-scale beef producers. The project aims to distribute bulls that have good genetic material to future commercial farmers in the Western Cape. The donated bulls were sourced from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) Bull Distribution Project.
According to project leader and specialist scientist in animal nutrition, Prof Ters Brand, the Bull Distribution Project was established in 2016 in collaboration with the farmer support and development and veterinary services programmes of the WCDoA.
Prof Brand explains the project’s value to small-scale beef producers: “The project ensures that quality breeding material is made available to small-scale beef producers. To date 41 bulls have been distributed to 26 farmers in the Overberg, Eden, West Coast and Swartland districts. This number will increase to 66 by the end of 2020.”
Making top-breed genetics available to farmers
Speaking at the event, Dr Meyer highlighted that the projects bring together three of his key priorities, namely market access, research, and farmer support and development.
“The Western Cape currently produces approximately 14% of the national beef output. The contribution of small-scale producers is relatively small. By making top-breed genetics available to small-scale beef producers, they can increase the volume and quality of the beef, which will enable easier and greater access to the market.”
Dr Mogale Sebopetsa, head of the WCDoA, highlighted that the department would continue to support these farmers. “Now that they have received bulls with superior genetics, we will provide them with advisory and veterinary support services. With our continued support, they can grow their herds and businesses.”
“The intention is to increase the participation of small-scale producers in the beef market in the Western Cape and ultimately on a national scale,” concludes Dr Meyer. – Press release, Western Cape Government