Emerging sector holds potential for livestock growth in SA

The emerging sector owns roughly 40% of livestock in South Africa, which largely contributes to food and income security, said Louis Wessels, chairman of the Western Cape Red Meat Producers Organization (RPO) at the organisation’s annual general meeting.

“The industry’s turnover can increase by 30% if the informal sector is developed and stimulated. Not only is the industry one of the top 15 contributors to the Gross Domestic Product, but it also shows growth above inflation rate over the last decade,” Wessels said.

A total of 215 034 households in South Africa own sheep, 613 662 households own cattle and 429 065 households own goats.

The demand for South African red meat is growing strongly with a 20% increase in the price of mutton and beef in the last year.

The weaner price increased with 35%. The high quality of South African red meat also increases the yearly international demand.

“The demand from China en the Middle East grew. Even countries outside of the European Union, such as Switzerland, are interested in our products.”

Droughts play an important role in price increases and a growing population contributes to a greater demand for protein.

“It was challenging to increase production to meet the demand.”

Wessels said the so-called roadmap for the red meat industry comprises of production development and competitiveness, meat security, consumer trust, animal health, animal welfare, biosecurity, an empowering production and commercial environment, the promotion and management of imports, the encouragement of public-private partnerships and consumer education.

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