Growing your farming enterprise into a successful business is a process that takes a 100% commitment. Lindiwe Sithole, host of African Farming Season 2, visits Dineo Mokgoshi to witness her transformational journey in becoming a full-time farmer.
Mokgoshi has established Segometsi Bakgoshi Agricultural Cooperative, a successful mixed-farming operation with 48 000 laying hens, flocks of more than 120 sheep and goats, 120 Pinzgauer cattle and a PinZ²yl stud herd, as well as a commercial cattle herd of 133 Brahman-type animals.
Sithole talks to panel expert Dr Thapelo Makae, a veterinarian with Elanco, about the role biosecurity plays in expanding a farm. “Mokgoshi talked about the importance of biosecurity, especially in the pork and poultry industries,” she says, and asks Dr Makae for his opinion on managing biosecurity correctly.
“If we want to implement successful biosecurity policies, we must understand what it is. Biosecurity is all about controlling the spreading of diseases, and protecting your animals from being infected by external sources,” he explains.
According to Dr Makae, the first barrier of defence against spreading disease is to make sure your farm is fenced properly and that you have a secure gate. “Managing the spreading of diseases from inside and outside of the farm is all about establishing secure access control. You don’t want your animals to roam freely beyond your property and you want to control access to farm so that you can regulate the movement of your animals.”
When you expand the size of your herd, he says, the existing herd can become vulnerable as the herd is being exposed to infectious diseases from outside the farm. “When you invest in additional stock, it is critical first to quarantine the new animals for a period of time before introducing new stock to your existing herd or flock of animals to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Make sure you have sufficient quarantine facilities to do that.”
Dr Makae says it all comes down to good planning. “It takes proper planning to expand your operations, and that includes ensuring your gate is secure and fencing is in place.”
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