Speech for the handing over of Diptanks and Livestock Development Programme at Matiwane by MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development, Mrs Lydia Johnson
27 Feb 2011The programme director
Members of Mnambithi Livestock Co-op
Other Livestock Associations Present
Ladies and gentleman
It gives me great pleasure to be with you here today, in order to share with you the Livestock Development plan and Diptank handing over ceremony under Mnambithi Livestock co-op.
The Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development has come a long way in trying to improve lives of the people. As with everything, the country, the province, the various departments and even the people, change is inevitable. Change is not always acceptable by all the people; especially we of the older generation who may be very static and set not only in our ideas, but in the way we live our lives.
I have been told that Mnambithi Livestock Farmers Association initiated by the Senior Animal Health Technician of the Area, Mr QR Doidge, with inputs by the Control Animal Health Technician, the Late Mr DM Mtshali and formed officially in April 2003 with the cooperation of Inkosi Nkondlwane of the Abantungwakholwa Clan.
The primary reason for forming this Association was to initially accommodate the rehabilitation of the dip-tanks, as well as to unite the live-stock owners under one umbrella. Let me congratulate you on starting the Cooperative and writing to me regarding diptank renovations and approaching my colleague, Her Worship, the Mayor of eMnambithi/Ladysmithy, Councillor Dudu Mazibuko.
Experience shows that we succeed when we work together. One key example is the one we are here about whereby our department, eMnambithi/Ladysmith Local Municipality and Mnambithi Livestock Cooperative have joined hands to renovate 13 diptanks. This also encourages a sense of ownership so that the community will take responsibility to care for their infrastructure, this should be the spirit in the whole province and country rather than using contractors who usually do not impart skills to the beneficiaries.
I was also told that some diptanks took three to five days to be completed. That’s the way to go!
The farmers will now be able to dip their animals with less stress.
Animal Identification in order to fight stock theft
The single most serious threat facing livestock farmers in this province is stock theft. Losses in 2008/09 amounted to R365 million nationally and R109 million in KwaZulu-Natal. The number of livestock farmers is diminishing as a result. The department has partnered with livestock farmers, the Department of Community Safety and Liaison and South African Police Service (SAPS) to fight this problem. In order to immediately address stock theft, the department has been purchasing branding kits that your cooperative received in March 2010 at Somsuku.
Primary Animal Health Care
I am very proud to announce that the uThukela Vet Office has started to train farmers on dehorning, castration, vaccination, deworming, branding, disease recognition and treatment thereof.
On top of that, the Uthukela Office is rendering such services as contagious abortion testing in cattle, tuberculosis (TB) testing and vaccination against controlled diseases.
The Provincial Executive Council better known as Cabinet has approved an ambitious and far-reaching strategy to improve live stock in the province. The focus of the strategy is to increase the working knowledge of subsistence and emerging commercial farmers on animal husbandry and improve the health of livestock, reducing diseases and mortality and build on the existing asset base of live stock farmers.
Subsistence farmers hold over 1,5 million cattle which is 55% of the provincial beef herd and 74% of the goat stock. Inadequate veterinary services and derelict infrastructure resulting in fewer and poorer quality animals and lack of market access are the main reasons why the value of these assets has not been fully realised for the benefit of the owner farmers and the provincial economy in general. This is now set to change. KwaZulu-Natal plans to exceed the 20% of national beef herd and 14% of the national goat herd which it currently contributes to the red meat industry.
The department’s intention is to provide funds or make funds available to continue providing dipping material, vaccines and Drugs for Primary Animal Health Care that will keep the animals of your members healthy so that in turn when you sell some you can earn more income.
We are also looking forward to erect hides and skin cottage industry in this district.
May I conclude by thanking Mnambithi Livestock Co-op, eMnambithi/Ladysmith Local Municipality and staff for all their hard work.
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture, Enviromental Affairs and Rural Development
27 Feb 2011
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