Productive livestock assets
Productive livestock assets At the centre of ECRDA’s livestock development strategy lays a persuasive commitment to ensuring that small-scale and emerging mainly black subsistence farmers are able to convert their livestock assets into productive units for enhanced economic activity and income generation. This is a significant development as it cultivates a new consciousness among subsistence farmers to take advantage of commercial opportunities presented by the livestock industry. The livestock development programme therefore seeks to turn subsistence livestock farmers from mere spectators in the market to active participants which are able to compete favourably with established commercial farmers. Currently, subsistence farmers hold onto their livestock without ever realising any financial returns for the asset. The status quo deprives these farmers from taking advantage of commercial opportunities and turning their livestock assets into cash for reinvestment and wealth generation.
This is a process that will require concerted and deliberate cultural change in the current livestock practices of the subsistence market. This means the culture of farming livestock among communal farmers until they die without selling it needs to be eradicated. Furthermore, when they do participate in the market they often do not receive the market value of their livestock while commercial farmers realise full value from their products. This is largely because these farmers are not exposed to market mechanisms and its accompanying nuances. Once these interventions are in place, communal livestock farmers will gain direct market exposure which should lead to the facilitation of commercialisation within the sector.
Value addition culture
In addition, ECRDA has placed a nuanced and considered focus on facilitating and growing a culture of value addition in the livestock sector particularly among the subsistence market. Value addition is widely accepted as a more effective tool in improving income generation in relation to the sale of the primary product. ECRDA therefore intends to use its agency to breed a new type of emerging livestock farmer which is astute at identifying compelling commercial and value addition opportunities in the market value chain for the purposes of improved income generation.