Background


Similar to many rural communities in South Africa, communal livestock production is the main system among smallholder livestock farmers in the Greater Tzaneen Municipality (GTM). The GTM intends to assist smallholder cattle farmers by improving their productivity and sustainability on communal lands. Cattle herd size on communal land in the municipality is currently estimated to be 29,000 with a composition of 43% cows. With proper management, the proportion of cows as well as that of calves is expected to increase.

 

Introduction

 

The livestock of Greater Tzaneen Municipality can be divided into two categories. These are small stock farming (white meat) referring mostly to chicken and pig farming.
With regards to small stock the focus is on the development of the poultry value-chain. There are currently eight tomcan poultry projects each with approximately forty thousand chickens.


Large stock farming (red meat) is the second category referring to larger animals such as goats and cattle. The goat industry is not as established as the poultry industry in Greater Tzaneen Municipality but also warrants attention, as goat-farming activities are numerous although they are more communal in nature and are scattered throughout the Municipality. Cattle is the focus for Greater Tzaneen Municipality in this regard as a combination of coordination, farmer support services and access to markets will expand the already vibrant agriculture sector in Greater Tzaneen Municipality.

 

Objectives

The main purpose of this proposed project is to assist livestock owners on communal land to increase the commercial value of their cattle. The feasibility study exercise involves:

  • Identification of viable livestock related enterprises for emerging livestock framers
  • Identification of key role players on livestock improvement programme
  • Identification and establishment of institutional Structuring for the implementation of the livestock improvement programme
  • Undertake the development of business plans for viable livestock enterprises development of skills plan to address skills shortage

 

Economic Challenges

Institutional Capacity
???? Implementation of existing plans for the LED
???? Focus on Community development instead of economic development (must have competitive edge)

Skills
Economist (specialized)
Project Management

Leadership of Greater Tzaneen Municipality with regard to integration of plans Lack of aggressive marketing of Greater Tzaneen Municipality
Poorly developed marketing strategy for our municipality

 

Investment Opportunities

Barrier to access finance and markets
Ownership of land
Capacity to develop business plans
Comparative advantage viz proximity to airports, harbor, transport, market etc
Inadequate infrastructure for development
Lack of maintenance of existing civil and electrical infrastructure finalization of land claims
Appeals on township applications delay development
Lack of specialized skills e.g. turners, fitters, engineers etc
Lack of incentives for private sector driven development

 

Recommendations

It is then recommended that the following projects are feasible and can be done to improve the lives of the local people through the livestock improvement programme.

 

Programme Project
Cattle farming Nguni breeeding, beef breeding, feedlot, abattoir, dairy
Goat farming Goat meat breeders, goat milk breeders, feedlot, abattoir, processing
Art & crafts Tannery, leather projects, curio shop
Poultry Egg layer, hatcheries
Piggery White pigs breeding

It is recommended that the Nguni projects should be started at T5, T6, and T7. the beef breeders focusing mainly on Brahmans should be concentrated at T1, T2, T3, T4a and T4b. This is influenced by the type of breeds kept in these areas.

Goat farmers Co-operatives should be established in all livestock farming areas in the Tzaneen Municipality as this one of the most viable livestock farming initiatives in the area. A central feedlot and abattoir should be established, preferably closer to town. We propose that a small holding should be leased or purchased to establish a feedlot and an abattoir for goats, this should include a small goat milk processing plant. The goat skin will be collected by the animal skin collecting Co-operative and will be sent to the tannery.

A tannery should be established in the industrial area of Tzaneen, where all the animal skins from various projects will be tanned into different leather textures. The tanned leather will be used to make different leather crafted products for different markets. A group of young people will trained to become crafters. This will be linked to the establishment of a curio shop where these products will be displayed.

Poultry production is one of the most successful livestock programmes in the Greater Tzaneen Municipality. However the concentration of this programme has always been focused on broiler production. We are then proposing that the municipal intervention should focus on the establishment of Egg Layers and Hatchery project using the indigenous chickens

A piggery project is proposed, even though in terms of the feasibility was a risky business, this due to the fact that most people in the Limpopo Province attend the Zion Church of Christ. The people attending the church do not eat pork for religious reasons. This gives you an indication that you immediate market will not purchase your product, the business will depend mostly from external market. However we propose that, a piggery project should be established, this should be done by combining the existing individual projects. These projects should in the short-term focus only on breeding without doing processing. Processing will be a mid to long-term programme.

 

Conclusion

 

The Greater Tzaneen Municipality has a very high potential to develop and become the leading municipality in Livestock Improvement Programme. The emerging communal livestock farmers already have stock to start the livestock improvement programme. The quality of their bulls is unquestionable.

The commercial sector on the other hand, has through out the years been supporting the communal farmers by buying stock from them.

The introduction of youth in the livestock improvement is also very imperative as most people currently involved in the programme are more than the age of 60 years old. This also allows the opportunity to provide relevant training programmes for the future of this livestock improvement programme. This report should be followed by the development of the business plans for the identified enterprises.