Agriculture is an important primary component of the South African rural community and national economy. It is the major factor in rural economic growth and development. However, there is a need for necessary programmes to support agriculture so that it plays a distinctive role in broadening the economic and social options of rural and urban people through primary and secondary contributions, and consequently in improving the quality of life. 

Livestock farmers from Tzaneen local municipality and Academic members of staff from Department of Animal Science, Univen posing for a group photo after the training. 

On Tuesday, 09 October 2018, The University of Venda (Univen) School of Agriculture, Department of Animal Science held Capacity building for sustainable livestock production system for communal and emerging farmers. The capacity building programme was held at Tzaneen, in the Runnymede Cluster 1. Forty-one (41) Livestock Farmers attended this capacity building programme that aims to improve productivity of animals in communal areas because this will help livestock farmers to harness their full potential, which may lead to improved food security and quality of life in the province. 

Prof Joseph Baloyi, Head of Department of Animal Science in the School of Agriculture highlighted that the major constraints faced by these farmers include lack of proper livestock management skills and also lack of knowledge on challenges affecting livestock enterprise. He mentioned that the primary objective of the project is to contribute towards sustainable livestock production enterprises in the communal and emerging sector of the Mopani and Vhembe districts, Limpopo Province. 

The Limpopo Department of Agriculture saw a need to start and facilitate community engagement project. This project entails academic training of livestock farmers in nutrition, livestock breeding, reproduction, animal health care and entrepreneurship in order to empower communal and emerging livestock farmers to achieve continuous improvement of profitable production and marketing of livestock. 

Through the sponsorship of AgriSETA, the project was carried out by University of Venda in collaboration with Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDoA). In 2014, a baseline survey on farmer training needs on livestock production systems in Mopani and Vhembe Districts were conducted to identify knowledge gaps in livestock production of the communal farmers. In 2017 a feedback of the outcomes from the baseline survey was reported in Greater Giyani, Greater Letaba, Greater, Maruleng and Phalaborwa local municipalities of Mopani district. Training programmes on winter feeding of ruminants were organized by 

Department of Animal Science from University of Venda from 25 September 2018 to 09 October 2018 at a central place in each municipality. 

Ms Mmamolatelo Ramato, from Lekgwareng in Tzaneen is one of the livestock farmers in the area where the training took place. She owns a herd of cattle and goats. Ms Ramato was happy to be part of the training and she thanked Univen and AgriSETA for providing this training to them. She said that she learned a lot from the training and she felt it was time to execute what she have learned from the training. 

Mr Addy Baloyi, Deputy Chairperson of Runnymede Cluster one (1) Livestock Farmers Association also thanked AgriSETA and Univen for providing the training to the livestock farmers in their area. He wished that the farmers who attended can also educate other farmers who couldn’t make it to the training. He said these kind of trainings empower them as livestock farmers and advised that the trainings should also be rendered to all livestock farmers throughout the country. 

Other areas that have already received trainings are Lulekani (Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality), Hoedspruit Service Center, Hlohlokwe village (Tickline, Ga-Sekororo) Shikhumba (Greater Giyani Municipality), Bonn village (Greater Tzaneen Municipality) and Mohlele village (Greater Letaba). To date the University of Venda provided training to about 200 emerging farmers around Mopani District Municipality. 

Dr Masiza Mikasi from Univen School of Agriculture conducting the training 

Some of Livestock farmers listening to Dr Masiza Mikasi’s presentation 

Issued by: 

Department of Communications & Marketing 

University of Venda 
Tel: (015) 962 8525 
Date: 11 October 2018