The study identifies the constraints faced by communal livestock farmers and the opportunities which exist to develop communal livestock production in Nyandeni Local Municipality in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Previous research has indicated that some of the most common problems in the developing world are feeding practices, health issues and inadequate support services. The previous research also showed that the livestock industry in the small scale sector is developing slowly and in some areas of South Africa the livestock numbers have not grown. Lastly, it also showed that an improvement in extension services would be able to benefit small-scale livestock owners. The study was qualitative in nature. Convenience sampling method was used to collect the data. The data comprised of goat, cattle and sheep farmers. The data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. Data was coded, captured and analyzed using SPSS version 23 to find frequencies, means, and compare means between variables. The findings showed that the mean age of the respondents was 55. The independent t-test showed a higher significant difference in mean age of male compared to female respondents (P<0.05) and male respondents owned more livestock compared to female respondents. 50% out of the 68 respondents were unable to read or write and those who were able to read and write only 7% have acquired a Matric education. 27% of the respondents had knowledge of how much land was available for grazing with a mean size of 11.33ha. A total of 85% of the respondents mentioned that they use pastures only for livestock feeding. Poor health was a major cause of lambing mortality and low lambing rates in livestock in the area. The most common diseases in the area were found to be pulpy kidney, tick-borne, sheep and goat scab, bloat, internal parasites and external parasites. A total of 47% of the respondents who sold their livestock for meat production used informal markets. 38% of the respondents used formal markets for selling their wool and 48% used informal markets. Sheep production contributed 11.35% to the average income; cattle contributed 15% and goats only 7%. Only 23% of the respondents had communication with an extension worker every second month. Mean percentage income which the farmers would like to receive in 5 years time was 22.52% from sheep, 19.24% from goats and 17.63% from cattle. The farmers had knowledge of how much wool they sold and the prices sold in last season. The conclusion was that there is still less youth involved in agriculture. Poor health was one of the major technical constraints faced by farmers followed by a shortage of feed. The unavailability of formal markets to sell the livestock and the lack of knowledge about the markets has led to farmers receiving less income from their livestock. The study revealed that there was a lack of communication between the farmers and extension workers. The study showed that farmers are aspired to grow. The study revealed marketing opportunities in the area that the farmers were already taking advantage of. It was recommended that extension and veterinary services should be more problem specific and more information on good health management should be provided. Secondly, farmers need information on ways to manage the land, and information on the available meat markets.
Dissertation (MSc (Agric))--University of Pretoria, 2018.