Six livestock owners, who are commonly used as demonstrators, participated in the study of which three were from communal areas and three from freehold farms in the Ganyesa area. The livestock production potential in communal areas was compared with that of freehold farms. Information on livestock production, veld condition, Dry matter, crude protein- content of natural grasses and extension services were determined and evaluated for each study area. The result of this study revealed that because of variation in climate, Ganyesa is classified as semi- arid and is mainly suitable for livestock production. The result further revealed that there were major constraints in livestock production in the study area and these were related to land tenure system and poor livestock production. In both communal areas and freehold farms, farmers were unable to invest in infrastructural development and this immensely affected production, and led to over-grazing. The performance of the herds (calving %) in communal areas was low (54%) as compared to that on the freehold farms (6 %). However, the results revealed that more calves that were born lived up to weaning (85% in communal areas, 90 % on freehold farms) and this compared favourably with results from other areas. Herd mortality rates for both communal (2%) and freehold farms (2%) were reported to be low. The performance of smallstock was somehow lower than expected for both communal and freehold farms. The lambing kidding percentage was low (62% and 69%, respectively) and mortality rates were somewhat high (to % and 23% respectively). This means that many lambs/kids died due to diseases and malnutrition and thus did not reach a weaning age. Forage DM production was reported to be higher on freehold farms than in communal areas, and this supported the argument that the latter areas are over-stocked. The CP¬content of forage was high for freehold farms during December - January and low during July - August. The CP -values of forage for freehold farms were higher than those for communal areas with the highest figures recorded during January. The veld condition score was reasonable on freehold farms with a high percentage of desirable grass species (28 % ) and low in communal areas (22 %) with high percentage of undesirable grass species (52 %) recorded by the latter. The results of this study revealed that all samples recorded high strontium (Sr) values, indicating likely contamination of the borehole sites. The high levels of titanium (Ti) and barium (Ba) on freehold farms may indicate a possibility of industrial pollution of boreholes. Most of the water sources sampled may also be utilised by humans for drinking, food preparation and drinking purposes with detrimental effects. In view of these constraints, some recommendations were made.
Dissertation (M Inst Agrar (Animal Production))--University of Pretoria, 2005.