Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has put their support behind a group of 35 local cattle farmers who are looking to improve the quality of their livestock. The Kruisfontein agricultural co-operative was formed by 100% Black Emerging Farmers, and is the beneficiary of the Kruisfontein Emerging Cattle Farmers Herd Improvement Programme. The co-operative comprises both male and female farmers, who have been running a herd for over 10-years, and is now being funded by the Wind Farm with the intention of converting the overall herd from that of poor genetic quality, low value animals to superior quality, high value animals.
“The Eastern Cape is South Africa’s premier livestock province and home to about 60% of the cattle herds in South Africa. Whilst livestock production was previously inhibited in the former homelands, it is now receiving the provincial government support and has developed niche markets in high-value meat cuts; a niche market where that we would like to see our local farmers get access to,” explained Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Director for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
This group of farmers, who lease land in Kruisfontein an area that is a few kilometres outside of Humansdorp, were in need of a handling facility for their stock, a need to introduce stud bulls as well as stud cows into the herd, in order to achieve their vision of becoming a successful commercial beef farming enterprise, capable of competing with the best commercial farmers in the area. “The cattle handling facilities and loading ramp, which are used for veterinary inspections as well as routine dosing and dipping, are seen as part of the long term investment in this co-op and its success as a business venture,” added Green-Thompson.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has funded R1.65million in support of the co-ops long term goal of altering the baseline value of the herd over the next five generations through the implementation of the current breeding programme and the skills development of the farmers. The Wind Farm in previous years has also funded the Sarah Baartman Bee Keeper Trust, which is set up to own and operate up to 500 productive beehives; as well as local farmer vegetable farmer, Mr. Bosman who received farm equipment including a tractor.