NERPO Press Releases

EMERGING LIVESTOCK FARMERS PLEAD FOR INCLUSION IN MASIBAMBISANE RURAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE.

12 Aug 2013

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EMERGING LIVESTOCK FARMERS PLEAD FOR INCLUSION IN MASIBAMBISANE RURAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE.

The livestock farmers have given President Jacob Zuma a reassurance that they are fully behind Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative (MRDI) but have made a plea for the inclusion of livestock sector in Masibambisane's planning.

Masibambisane is a Presidential initiative aims to, among others, promote revival of available agricultural land by strengthening public-private partnerships, harnessing the synergy of common strength and collective participation of farmers, thus empowering communities through creation of jobs while ensuring food security.

The Group Managing Director of NERPO Mr. Aggrey Mahanjana says, "We commend and support President Jacob Zuma for introducing this much-needed intervention for food security and job creation for the rural poor. It is however necessary that we equally deal with the economic plight of our farmers who constantly suffer from a severe recurrent droughts. Livestock has over the centuries been a living and walking bank of the African people. We have therefore made a plea with the Chairperson of Masibambisane, President Jacob Zuma, as well as the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development and Land Reform, to strongly consider including livestock in the funding allocation of Masibambisane."

Mahanjana believes that focusing on planting basic food commodities for household consumption only, may not address challenges of food insecurity entirely as cash is also needed to acquire other food commodities which are not necessarily available through farming. Sale of good quality livestock can address this gap.

"We need to encourage and assist our farmers to plant sufficient fodder crops and acquire other supplementary animal feeds. By so doing, we will ultimately establish a Fodder Bank with which to assist farmers during severe drought seasons" he said.

NERPO is the official mouthpiece of South Africa's smallholder livestock farmers who are reported to own about 40% cattle, 67% goats & 12% sheep but only accounts for 5% market share in the red meat production value chain.

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