Farmers in the North West, who have an interest in breeding livestock, have been urged to take advantage of the Nguni Cattle Development project.
The project was started by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the North West University. It aims to re-introduce indigenous Nguni cattle to the livestock industry, empower subsistence farmers with livestock farming skills and help small-scale farmers boost their businesses.
Successful applicants will each receive 24 Nguni cattle, which include 23 heifers and a bull.
Farmers will also have to sign a contract to commit to the project conditions for five years.
At the end of the five years beneficiaries will return 11 heifers and one bull but will keep the remaining livestock, including any offspring from the herd, as a grant from the department.
Interested farmers must fill out an application form, which is available at all the department’s District Offices and Local Development Centres. The closing date to submit applications is 30 June 2014.
- All applicants must have at least 350 hectares of fenced grazing land with water available to accommodate livestock.
- Applicants must be in possession of certified proof of land or farm ownership.
- Applicants will undergo a selection process, which will include physical interviews, an on-site visit by the project’s technical committee and verification of information provided.
Since the project started in 2007, 1 632 heifers, 65 bulls and 675 calves have been distributed to small-scale farmers. Of these, 216 have been returned to the project and re-distributed to new beneficiaries.
North West MEC for Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Desbo Mohono said R16.2 million had been allocated to the project over the years.