Western Cape veterinary service provide free support to smallholder livestock farmers
On Tuesday, 27 October 2020, veterinary technicians attached to the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's (WCDoA) Veterinary Service presented workshops to smallholder livestock farmers in Klapmuts, Paarl.
According to Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture Veterinary Service supports smallholder livestock farmers through free training and primary animal health care services.
Dr Meyer: "This free service is crucial for the survival of smallholder livestock farmers in communities with no or limited access to private veterinary clinics and services."
Free services include primary animal care, vaccination of production animals against diseases and tests for conditions such as brucellosis, swine and avian influenza.
Animal Health Technician, Maresa Fourie, highlights that indigent farmers now have regular access to professional veterinary facilities.
Fourie: " I cannot overemphasize the value of training for smallholder livestock farmers. Healthier animals fetch better prices at the market. So, the economic impact of what we do, can be huge."
One such farmer is Gideon Mgwaza who farms with goats.
Mgwaza: "I have learnt a lot today but would like more training because I want to be a prominent farmer one day so that I can employ more people."
"I am not doing this for nothing. I want to provide for my family," continues Mgwaza.
Smallholder livestock farmers play a vital role in ensuring food security and job creation, says Meyer.
"The WCDoA's contribution to the health of livestock owned by smallholder livestock farmers promotes prosperity and contributes to food security. It also enables smallholder livestock farmers to create a dignified life for themselves and their loved ones, "concludes Meyer.