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New initiative ‘a gamechanger’ for Eastern Cape cattle sales

Home Agriculture New initiative ‘a gamechanger’ for Eastern Cape cattle sales

A new livestock initiative, which will provide a space for the formalised selling and buying of cattle, is set to be a gamechanger for the Eastern Cape livestock market.

That’s according to Gloria Serobe, a leading businessperson and one of the driving forces behind the initiative, who believes that the Transkei Feed Kraal, the first such formalised venture in the area, will directly benefit the communities in and around Centane, who struggle with viable access to market for their products.

The project is spearheaded by Beefmaster Group, a leading specialist supplier of beef products to South Africa and global markets, in partnership with Serobe, the founder of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings Limited (WIPHOLD) as well as the traditional leadership of Centane. Nedbank has also been instrumental in providing finance for the project.

The project is jointly owned by the KwaDrabo Trust, which was founded by Serobe, and Lingelihle a Coop, established by the traditional leadership of Centane.

“The objective of the Transkei Feed Kraal is to ensure that the community, comprising the traditional councils of Centane, benefits,” Serobe said. “It is also to improve the life of stockfarmers in not only Centane, but also in Mnquma and the entire Amathole districts. This will allow the people of the area to benefit from trading with cattle in a sustainable manner.”

Based in KwaHolela in Centane, on the farm of the late King Xolilizwe, it is run by a Centane born Manager, Thabo Magandana, who is in the final stages of his writeup of his PHD thesis with University of Pretoria on Animal Production Management.

An initial investment of R6 million was made, which allowed the facility to be built. During the construction phase 30 local people were employed and there will be five permanent jobs created to assist in feeding and taking care of the cattle once they are brought in.

The Transkei Feed Kraal was officially opened for trade recently. Roelie van Reenen, supply chain executive at Beefmaster Group, who spoke at the launch of the facility, said the company is excited to be part of this project and will be helping on the commercial side.

“This is one of the first ventures of its kind, which we believe will be a great success. We are glad that it is now finally open after delays due to COVID-19 and the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). We hope that this project becomes the prototype on which to base more such ventures in which communities benefit,” said Van Reenen.

He added that Centane, which is outside the town of Butterworth, was chosen for the project given that the Eastern Cape has “the most cattle in the country”, and that most of these cattle are in the hands of communal farmers.

“Yet many of these farmers struggle with access to market and viable routes for their products. The more formalised structure also addresses and solves many problems that come with informal trading of cattle; including a safe means of transaction, as well as a physical space where farmers can gather and buy and sell cattle.”

Beefmaster Group provided the technical expertise on the project and will also provide a mentor to help with the ongoing facilitation of knowledge and best practice at the Transkei Feed Kraal.

Farmers in the Eastern Cape who wish to learn more about how they can trade their cattle at the Transkei Feed Kraal may contact Thabo Magandana on 083 728 9286.

 

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