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Agriculture

Maize Meat Hub Feedlot

The Eastern Cape has the potential to produce 1.2 million ton of maize per annum according to the land use production research results. In total there is around three million cattle herd in the Eastern Cape. It accounts for over 22 percent of the total number of cattle in South Africa. The cattle in the Eastern Cape are largely owned by small-scale traditional farmers. Production and ownership patterns considerably vary between these and commercial farmers, with the former owning cattle as a source of wealth, as draft animals, sources of milk and manure, and to fulfilling customary functions. When looking at commercial farmers, they tend to raise them strictly for meat.

As a result of the gaps in communal production for both maize and meat (especially beef), it became an outmost importance to facilitate a set of market led interventions to stimulate the involvement of Historical Disadvantaged Farmers (HDF) in the formal maize and livestock industry in the Eastern Cape to address aspects like poverty, unemployment, food security and many other aspects hampering the current growth and development aspects in the region.

The proposed feedlot implies 3000 (to 10 000 in final phase) cattle standing and delivering 200 cattle per week to the market and local abattoir. The inputs will be derived from both commercial and small scale traditional farmers, from the weaners, to feed. Sale of output would be managed and sold to final markets through an entity which operates the feedlot. JoGEDA aims to stimulate the involvement of historically disadvantaged farmers in the formal maize and livestock industry in the province, and analysis has shown this infrastructure is a necessary requirement. All the role players and stakeholders in the agriculture sector agreed that there would be considerable value in developing a business venture that can involve the different types of communal cattle herds as well as the maize farmers. This business venture will then accommodate as many as possible of the producers to address the mentioned problems in the province. This business venture is called a maize meat hub, where both maize and beef can be part of the value chain process to the advantage of historically disadvantaged farmers.

The hub will also capitalise with the establishment of tannery and waste processing facility, whereby energy regeneration produces energy for cooking and lighting purposes in the rural region. The other element will include the development of waste greening facility that produces tan and hides for further processing, developing linkages with the car manufacturers and 1st and 2nd tier players in the value chain. Various elements of project concepts have been assessed and others are ongoing. Site location, desired scale, capex budget, ownership, financing, management, feed supply and weaner supply have been outlined in the business plan and will be tested at implementation level.