The NWGA strive to stabilise and / or improve the cost efficiency of woolled sheep farming systems in the non-communal sector by implementing appropriate (new and improved) production technology systems.
The NWGA strive to improve both the quality and quantity of wool produced in the communal woolled sheep farming areas of South Africa.
Shearer Training sector
NWGA manages a national shearer training programme for the provision of a pool of trained shearers from which growers, shearing contractors and brokers can course labour for an effective and professional wool harvesting process
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SITUATION AT OBP HAS SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY
Concern was expressed by the Animal Health Forum (AHF) over serious problems being experienced at the Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) Institute. During a visit of a delegation of the AHF to OBP on Friday 1 August 2014 the facility was at standstill. Some of the batches also did not conform to standards. Brucella, Blue tongue B, African Horse Sickness (Bottle 2) are priorities that are not currently available. All being produced currently, but availability will depend on final tests to evaluate if the vaccine conforms to standards. Availability indicated as being Sept / Oct.
AHF requested OBP to frequently communicate (at least on weekly basis) with industry on the availability of vaccines and thereby assist industry to investigate alternatives (i.e. importations of vaccines of critical importance, requesting private institutions to manufacture vaccines, etc.) OBP website should be used for this.
OBP also requested to release available vaccines, even if some of the strains/ bottles are not available to allow producers to at least vaccinate and build up some immunity in their livestock. Outstanding strains / bottles to be released at later stage when available. This situation has serious consequences for the livestock industry. OBP indicated that although their facilities have been upgraded, there are still many old and outdated equipment from the 1960’s that create major problems and consideration is being given to create new facilities from scratch! DAFF was approached by OBP to fund reserve vaccines of strategic importance (i.e. RVF) up to 80%. OBP was also requested to provide a list of vaccines considered to be strategically important.
Letter from Dr. Steven Cornelius, CEO of OBP sent to the Animal Health Forum regarding vaccine availability, with an undertaking that vaccines for African horsesickness, Bluetongue, B-Phemeral, Brucella S19 and Rift Valley Fever (inact) will be available from October 2014. Read here.
Communal woolgrowers of Region 20 will hold its 18th annual congress on 14 August in the Centane district. Region 20 was formed in 1995 and comprises of 11 districts within 5 district municipalities. Resolutions to be discussed will include infrastructure, genetic improvement, value adding, problem animals and land tenure.
Considering that that the genetic improvement scheme have introduced more than 36 000 quality rams and communal farmers have realised its impact and they are now able to produce more wool of better quality, therefore realising better prices, the number of rams are still far below expectation. In order to fast track the impact, farmers are requesting government to increase the number to 5 000 rams per year.
Another area of anticipation is the vision of congress to add value to their primary product, by processing wool locally and selling the final product. They fully believe that government can make this a reality by curbing the triple challenges, namely poverty, unemployment and inequality.
The Eastern Cape communal Woolgrowers Association will hold its third annual congress on 21 August at the Makoatlana shearing shed in Mount Fletcher. Resolutions to be discussed are genetic improvement, infrastructure, wool marketing, problem animals, land tenure, stock and wool theft and the future of communal farming.
Mr Kirmish Dyokolwana will lead the discussion on land tenure. Communal farmers feel that the slow pace of land redistribution is slowing down growth and development. They also experience the redistribution programme as inaccessible while there is confusion as to who qualifies for stand-alone farms. Congress will urge government to accelerate land management with regards to the allocation of residential stands and grazing land. They will also request that flock numbers be used as a criteria for qualifying farmers and that land be allocated to these farmers. Regarding problem animals congress will request government to introduce bi-laws governing the management of stray dogs.
The long-awaited report by the World Organisation for Animal Health on the state of South Africa's government veterinary services was released recently. The findings and recommendations of the OIE's PVS report were extensive. Read report by Lloyd Phillips, Farmers Weekly.
Mr. Leon de Beer indicated that the NWGA was "positioned to assist DAFF" with achieving the reports recommendations for improving chain of command within SA's veterinary services and strengthening the support to include non-commercial livestock farmers. "Future involvement of (the livestock) industry in the development of any strategies and initiatives is essential to ensure all challenges are approached collectively with government as a whole."