Department donates cattle to Peddie farmers
Red meat farmers in the Eastern Cape received a much-needed boost when the provincial department of rural development and agrarian reform donated 40 high quality beef heifers cattle to their businesses in Peddie on Thursday.
In the 2019/20 financial year, the department, collaborated with the University of Fort Hare Nguni Cattle Development Trust (UFH-NCDT) and delivered various cattle breeds, 71 bulls and 505 heifers and livestock traceability package to 20 farms from a budget of R13 million.
One of the beneficiaries, Makwabe Agri Business founder Zipho Makwabe, 28, said it was encouraging to finally get support from government after knocking on many doors without getting any response.
The small scale farm which she co-owns with her twin, Zovuyo had already received a true heifer breed bull and on Thursday they received another 15 heifers.
“We have lost 10 heifers due to the draught and this donation from the department is a welcomed boost to our young business,” she said.
“Now we have 36 cows and we are going to start breeding them as soon as we can. We have been knocking on so many doors but nothing was going our way.”
Another beneficiary Bulumnko Mbambo, 30, from Ngwele Location received 15 heifers plus a bull. He said the donation would make a huge a notable addition to their 20 heifers and would afford them an opportunity to grow and “run with the big leagues".
“This support is going to help us grow and join the bigger markets.” he said.
“As young people trying to penetrate this industry it's very hard and now we are being given an opportunity to grow.
“That's encouraging because I studied farming from a very young age, learning from father so it's good to get support from government,” said Mbambo.
Rural development and agrarian reform MEC Nomakhosazana Meth, said the donations were part of their livestock improvement programme, aimed at assisting small scale farmer and commercial farmer with heifers.
“In this financial year we had set aside R13 million to assist local farmers with live stock to boost their businesses,” said Meth.
She said the beneficiaries were made up of a diverse group with young people and women.“Agriculture is an essential service and the production didn't stop [because of the Covid-19 lockdown] and we think this programme will give farmers a boost they all need to stay afloat during these turbulent times,” said Meth.
“We want them to get off the ground because we are in a bid to ensure food security for the country. We want our farmers to supply meat on a big scale.”