High quality calves born to Kruisfontein emerging farmers' herd
22 November 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201812806
THE Kruisfontein Emerging Cattle Farmers Co-operative is on track to become one of the nucleus herds for livestock improvement in the Eastern Cape.
This is after the first batch of calves from high-quality embryos were born between 4 and 12 November 2018, resulting from invitro fertilisation procedures, of which 28 pregnancies were confirmed in June.
“We are very happy with the results of this programme, considering that 195 cows were confirmed in calf to the new bulls in July, showing an improved conception rate under structured management and the results from the first round of embryo transfers show the conception rate of between 50% and 60% for the invitro fertilisation programme,” said co-operative Chairman Vaaltyn Felix.
The long-term goal is to get this 100% black emerging farmers’ co-op to the level where it is one of the high-end breeding farms supplying bulls and cows to the provincial livestock improvement programme, which is a long way from the original low-quality herd.
“The importance of agriculture and the emerging farmers of the rural communities to our national economy is well known and their contribution to the alleviation of poverty, food security, employment creation and the sustainable management of natural resources is critical,” said Hlengiwe Radebe, Economic Development Director for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, the financial supporter of this programme.
Livestock ownership, in the rural areas, has long been associated with prestige and status or for stores of wealth and reasons associated with utility provision such as household milk, drought power, manure and less frequently for meat.
This makes it important to take into account that cattle in the rural areas underpin social relationships between individuals in the community and do not only reflect the market value associated to ownership in commercial agriculture.
The Livestock Improvement Programme seeks to increase the value of ownership of cattle in the rural community while ensuring that the improvement of quality and productivity of their livestock does not disenfranchise the traditional norms.
It’s been just over a year since the co-operative welcomed their first superior genetic bulls, funded by the wind farm’s enterprise development programme, and already they are reaping the rewards. The results achieved from the first crop of calves, from the introduction of the new superior bulls as implemented in year one, are now reaching weaning weight.
These calves have shown a rapid increase in quality and vigour and weigh substantially more than their counterparts from the other inferior bulls.
“This programme has already boosted our co-op and taught us a new way of thinking about cattle farming, which we can pass on to future generations. What’s more, it is already having an impact on our community and creating jobs,” said Felix.