central; livestock; cattle; hormones; FMD; trace; diseases

Why do small-scale livestock farmers struggle to become commercial farmers?

Why do so many emerging livestock farmers fail to break free of the subsistence model? Many farmers with small herds seem unable to farm stock commercially and on top of that they lose animals to disease, especially to tick borne disease.

Lack of skills and little knowledge of commercial farming, poor or non-existent infrastructure and inadequate or not access to finance all contribute to unsuccessful attempts to move into the commercial arena.

A holistic approach is necessary because when you are trying to help farmers get ahead, it needs more than training alone…it needs funding too so that farmers can put into practice what they have learnt.

Access to markets, training and skills development, finance and infrastructure are the issues the sector struggles with most. We as stock farmers must identify the priorities in the sector, we must go to areas where the stock numbers are greatest, and where people rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Farmers can, and indeed should, work together in the livestock commodity sector and think of ways to make their stock work for them.

Aggrey Mahanjana – Stock farmer and red meat producer

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