Efforts to venture into niche markets pays off for goat farming in Tshwane

The City of Tshwane, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), is implementing Boer goat production in Regions 6 and 7.

Traditionally, subsistence farmers in the rural areas of South Africa keep goats. The same rural areas are often plagued by unemployment, poverty and economic inactivity. Goat production is widely regarded as a feasible means to improve the income and nutrition of rural communities and in turn to incorporate these communities into commercial markets. The increasing market for goats among North and West African nationals, many of whom reside in Tshwane, creates potential for growth.

Realising the potential to tap into niche products, the City developed a business plan and solicited funding from DALRRD to support youths in the agricultural sector with the aim of commercialising Boer goat production and encouraging youth participation in agriculture. The funding was consequently approved with the allocation of R4,2 million that includes 310 Boer goats, feed, medication, a dipping tank, a pellet machine, a bakkie, a tractor and implements, as well as feeding and drinking troughs.

The project will benefit youths from Ngwanamadima (Pty) Ltd from Ekangala and Young Farmers Agric Business (Pty) Ltd from Kameelzynkraal. Both companies are owned by youths and participate in small stock production.

The City, together with DALRRD and the Agricultural Research Council, will further introduce the youths to an artificial insemination programme to avoid future inbreeding and buying expensive rams. As semen is cheaper, farmers will still get good genetics in the herd. Officials of the City and its partners will render advisory services and link the farmers to successful Boer goat commercial farmers. This will assist them to produce quality animals to commercial markets, giving peace of mind to clients to use them in their own herds.

The commercialisation of the Boer goat will significantly contribute to food security in terms of preserved (dried) protein, as goat meat is of high nutritional value with superior lean characteristics, and the sustainability of goat production in Tshwane. There will also be contributions to economic activity and income generation for the participating farmers.

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