An ambitious programme to commercialise and boost indigenous goat production across KwaZulu-Natal is in jeopardy because the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has throttled funding of millions of rands.
First published in the Witness
In October 2016, the department signed a deal with two NGOs, Heifer Project South Africa (HPSA) and the Mdukatshani Rural Development Project, to launch a five-year plan to change the face of livestock farming. So promising is this initiative that international donors, from the EU, Germany and the US, have also committed more than R30-million to its realisation.
Among the objectives of this goat master plan were to:
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Generate an extra R100-million in livestock herds in the Mzinyathi, Thukela, uThungula, Zululand and uMkhanyakude districts, where poverty and unemployment are rife;
Create 620 jobs for young people and 270 microbusinesses;
Set 7,000 farmers, particularly women, on the path to commercialising their herds;
Double goat production to start meeting unquenched local demand and to export;
Create a centre of excellence for goat research; and
Create publications and a training curriculum.
The two NGOs would be responsible for the training and support of farmers and livestock associations, provide matching funds in three...