The minister of agriculture, Senzeni Zokwana, recently illustrated the department’s determination to protect indigenous livestock genetics.
Last month, while in the Northern Cape, the minister took the opportunity to donate nucleus breeding stock, amounting to 100 hardy Namaqua Afrikaner sheep, to developing farmers in the region.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation encouraged the conservation of indigenous livestock and crop genetics. The minister took it a step further by trying to improve the country’s food security status, as well as rural economies.
“Erosion of animal genetic resources threatens the ability of farmers and livestock keepers to respond to environmental and socio-economic changes, including changing diets and consumer preferences.
“Our focus on this particular breed is based on its ability to withstand harsh environmental conditions. This unique breed is extremely adaptable to semi-arid and low production input systems, which is particularly relevant in the current drought situation we find ourselves in,” Zokwana explained.
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