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The Farming of Animals
Livestock farming is the largest agricultural sector and continues to suffer the consequences of reduced rainfall since 2014, ongoing drought and drought-induced losses, excessive temperatures which affect breeding, rising input costs, increasing crime, stock theft and predation, diseases, reduced consumer spending and limited access to land, water and resources. The sector continues to decline in terms of number of farmers and livestock. Despite all this however, gross animal product income for 2017/2018 of R142.97bn was 13.3% higher than the R126.16bn reported in 2016/2017, largely due to better prices received by farmers.
Industry in Decline
The industry is largely severely financially constrained and remains challenged by policy uncertainty on land expropriation. The 2017/2018 season will be remembered for the continuation in certain areas of the worst drought in over 100 years with calamitous results for many industry players and the significant loss of livestock. The number of commercial farming units has dropped precipitously and it is expected to decline further.
This report focuses on the farming of animals in South Africa, specifically the extensive or pastoral production of livestock. It describes the commercial, emerging, communal and stud farming sectors and includes detailed information on the farming of cattle, sheep, goats, horses, donkeys and game or wildlife and the factors influencing the sector’s success.