Eastern Cape
Livestock diseases should be prevented
10:58 (GMT+2), Fri , 31 October 2014
Eastern Cape
The National Emergent Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (NERPO) has called on government to improve and maintain high standard of primary animal health care in order to prevent livestock diseases, improve production and empower smallholder farmers to detect diseases at an early stage.
This resolution has been adopted at the organisation’s recent national congress.
Aggrey Mahanjana, NERPO group managing director said NERPO members and other smallholder farmers in the country were experiencing high mortality and low birth rates due to poor animal health care. "NERPO calls on the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to review the structure and location of primary animal health care, which should address the needs of livestock farmers. In addition, the department and livestock farmers should prioritise diseases that have an impact on the economy and public health and include them in the primary animal health care," added Mahanjana.
NERPO members also gave DAFF six months, to partner with the Red Meat Industry Forum and come up with a programme which will assist farmers with accessing markets and facilitate trade. Mahanjana said the red meat industry must utilize its transformation budget to assist smallholder farmers to access markets.
The farmers also echoed their concerns over the mismanagement and lawlessness on communal land farming systems in South Africa. The farmers made a resolution to insist to government to draw up legislations and laws that will bring about law and order in our rural communal areas.