Potchefstroom –In order to advance government efforts to reduce poverty and hunger, the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (NWDARD) handed over 30 culled cattle to the North West Department of Social Development (NWDSD) for them to donate meat to the needy communities in the province. MEC for NWDARD, Desbo Mohono handed over the cattle to her delighted counterpart of the Department of Social Development, MEC Boitumelo Moilwa at Potchefstroom Agricultural College on Thursday, 10 September 2020.
The cattle, which formed part of the NWDARD’s livestock research and development programme and are mainly of Nguni and Afrikaner breed, will be slaughtered for final exploration before being handed over to NWDSD. The NWDSD has identified centres such as orphanages, old age homes and homes hosting people with disabilities as well as those who care for vulnerable groups as beneficiaries of this good act.
The meat will be handed over within a week, immediately after final data collection by the NWDARD in order to avoid risks associated with contamination.
MEC Mohono said the departmental food security programme is proud to have advanced efforts by now donating meat to communities. “We have undertaken some robust efforts in ensuring our people do not go to bed without food. We did this, through our food security programme. I have led a departmental team to go communities to plant vegetable gardens and fruit trees, gave chicken eggs, indigenous chickens, goats and many other inputs. This time we are delighted as the department to donate meat. It says to us we are advancing in our quest to ensure that we alleviate hunger,” MEC Mohono quipped.
She said the departmental research unit has confirmed the cattle to be fit and will also verify after slaughtering that the meat is indeed fit for consumption. The department realises its mandate of right to food and freedom charter clause which advocates for food to be plentiful for all, it also seeks to enhance nutrition and quality of its life to the most vulnerable communities; and endorse independence. As the impacts of Covid 19 take its toll on many people, MEC Mohono said it was imperative for government to strengthen its efforts to empower communities. “The demand for food has gone higher now and it is a challenge because we have seen that many people have lost jobs. Agriculture now needs to be productive by bringing new and efficient methods to ensure that people have food”, she emphasised.
Research is one critical component as it supports the department’s contribution to the development of animal agriculture. This includes the exploration of improving livestock production systems, management practices, animal health and welfare as well as food quality and safety amongst other. Research can provide dramatic demonstrations of what is achievable and thereby encourage development. The farming communities may be reluctant to make investment in the livestock when there is probability of loses through deaths or other factors. It is through research that vaccines or genetically resistant breeds can encourage farmers to invest in improved nutrition, management and other livestock interventions.
IMG-20200913-WA0011: MEC Desbo Mohono, MEC Boitumelo Moilwa as well as Acting Head of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development during the handover ceremony of the livestock.
IMG-20200913-WA0003: 30 Cattle have been donated to the North West Department of Social Development in order to contribute to the social relief programme.
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