Farmer Training Programme
A system approach in which the animal breeding programme (genetic improvement) is accompanied by training in animal nutrition, management, animal health and marketing is offered to emerging livestock farmers. The training focus mainly to those farmers who are participating in the animal improvement programme (Presidential Bull and Heifer Project).
NERPO Consulting and Training Services and appropriate contracted external service providers, provide training in line with approved budgets available from donations and grants. The training programme focus on improving the capacity and skills of participants to enable them to develop into successful commercial farmers.
Competencies required for profitable livestock production are generally lacking amongst the emerging livestock producers. Besides restricting this category of farmers from operating profitable enterprises, this shortcoming threatens the long-term sustainability of this sector.
Based on the results of the research conducted by the Red Meat Industry in the year 2000; a report of Section 7 Committee of the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) and recent observations by ARC, SAMIC and NDA technical staff who were judges in the NERPO competition of the emerging red meat producer of the year 2001, it has been found that the majority of the emerging red meat producers have no:
• Farm production records
• Farm inventory and financial records
• Basis in the choice of breeding stock
• Breeding programme
• Livestock disease nor parasite control programmes
• Animal management and handling skills (dehorning, branding, castration, etc.)
• Targeted market for the sale of their products nor any market information
• Animal nutritional programme
• Business acumen and skills
• Business plans
Strategic objective of the programme
• To equip emerging livestock farmers with knowledge and skills
• To provide practical livestock, veld management and marketing training to willing and committed potential commercial red meat producers.
• To provide entrepreneurial skills to emerging farmers using real case studies in which they will be involved.