A group of rural emerging livestock farmers in the Northern Cape is being taught about artificial insemination to improve the quality of their livestock. The three-day course comprises both theoretical and practical work.
The course is being conducted by experts who are highly skilled in animal genetics.
The farmers say their newly-found skill will help them to grow their livestock without having to spend tens of thousands of rand buying bulls.
They say it will also help them breed more types of cattle which they can then sell at a higher price in the market.
“It’s very important because at the auctions they look at the weight of your cows or the weight of your calves. Now if you come with quality, you will make more money out of the cattle,” says a farmer.
“I’ve learned a lot and I got to understand that you don’t have to buy a bull when you can’t afford to. At least I’ll be able to start breeding at home and improve my breed,” adds another farmer.
Artificial insemination expert Joel Nkuna says this method of breeding will allow emerging farmers to compete on a more balanced platform with other farmers who have more experience in the market.
“It is safe to use and it is cheaper than using a normal bull. The ratio of a bull to the cow is one to 25 or up to 30 and with artificial insemination, you can inseminate up to four hundred cows.”
The farmers say they are now looking forward to increasing the number of livestock they own and improving the quality of meat that they bring to markets across South Africa.