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March 20, 2008

South African province aims to boost goat rearing industry

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has given South Africa's Northern Cape goat farming industry a R15 million financial injection to transform herders into commercial farmers.

The Goat Commercialisation Programme was unveiled by Premier Dipuo Peters in Grobblersdal on Tuesday.

She said the joint initiative between the Department of Agriculture and Land Reform, the IDC and the Kalahari Kid Corporation aims to transform yesterday's stock herders into active participants of the local and global economies.

Speaking at the launch, Ms Peters said the province was seeking to expand the current estimated goat population of over 700 000 by using the available natural resources and marketing opportunities.

This would help develop the live goat market, increase supply of naturally reared meat to major retailers, and further allow for the processing of goat meat for exporting and the use of goat skin for leather.

The department through Kalahari Kid Corporation procured 2000 goats for the two production farms and further procured 900 goats from individual emerging farmers and cooperatives.

A total of 300 female goats and nine bucks were donated by the department to three cooperatives including Kagisanong Women Dipudi in Kuruman, Britstown Small Farmers and Chevon Youth in Globblershoop.

To ensuring that the province meets the required demands of the local and international markets two farms in Rooisand and Boegoeberg have been acquired to the tune of R19 million to be used as production farms.

She said goat farming was significant to our agricultural heritage and that the province had the duty to regroup its emergent goat farmers who have been operating as micro-entrepreneurs.

"Today's launch is in remembrance of the farm dweller that was muzzled off the land, robbed his livelihood and left to die a pauper.

"Our emergent goat farmers now have the opportunity to capture their share of the spoils in the goat value-chain," she said.

Since 2003 the department has spent an average of R6 million per year on commercialising goats farming.

Ms Dipuo thanked the IDC for its assistance in turning a "dead asset" into a prospective gold mine.

The programme is an Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (AsgiSA) and Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS) anchor project.

"The intervention of this programme encapsulates research, training, marketing, traceability and production that speaks into the immediate objectives of AsgiSA and the PGDS," she said, adding: "Let it be business unusual, for the international and national markets are waiting upon us."

BUA News

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