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Red Meat Production in the Eastern Cape Needs Improvement

21 November 2017
Red Meat Production in the Eastern Cape Needs Improvement

Red meat, it takes the form of many tasty treats, such as meatballs, sausage and perfectly grilled steaks. Although it's considered a scrumptious meal, we as humans require its intake, as it provides us with many benefits such as iron and zinc. Without its nutrients, our immune systems are likely to suffer, which is why it's crucial that the best quality red meat is provided to its potential consumers.

The Eastern Cape has deemed red meat to be its biggest agricultural commodity, with farms across the border region that host small and large livestock as a mixed enterprise. With such a high demand for this product, it's essential that local butchers and stores can meet the consumers’ needs by supplying them with “A” grade meat that holds all vitamins, minerals & protein one needs for everyday living.

Benefits of Quality Red Meat

As the saying goes, quality not quantity and with the correct supply of red meat, one will gain many beneficial nutrients. Red meat is a primary source of protein, which helps build muscle, repair tissue and is vital for physical activity. It also prevents illness by producing enzymes and hormones.

Another benefit would be iron. Lean meat provides a substantial amount of iron which your body requires for red blood cells to transport oxygen to the parts of the body

Reduced Quality

There has been a reduction in meat quality over the recent years, which means Eastern Cape red meat production needs improvement. According to Mibo Qoboshiyane, MEC of the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (EC DRDAR), the Eastern Cape cattle farmers need to improve the quality, as well as the consistency of their meat production, to become nationally recognised as the leader in quality meat production.

Cattle Owners

There are approximately 3.2 million cattle situated in the province. Majority of the cattle belong to farmers are regarded as mediocre in production quality, which is a great concern.

The MEC believes that a change needs to be made concerning the management skills and mindsets of these cattle owners.

Farming Improvements

It's essential that a plan of action is drawn up before improvements can be made. Qoboshiyane believes that there have to be production methods and goals set to improve quality and production amounts.

For the cattle owners to develop from emerging to commercial status, there has to be an upgrade in certain categories, ranging from primary production to feed-lotting.

Due to a lack of infrastructure in the provinces communal and rural areas, the EC DRDAR has endeavoured to assist farmers. Qoboshiyane also stated that the provinces cattle farmers require better working conditions, such as pastures, grazing camps and cattle handling facilities so they may raise their animals according to the required market standards.

The MEC believes that this will create opportunities for up and coming cattle owners in regards to massifying their purpose. Currently, the Eastern Cape only produces 2% of the countries formal red meat production.

EC NERPO representative, Nonquebeka Ngewu, feels motivated after the meeting with Qoboshiyane and stated that they felt positive about adding value to the Eastern Cape livestock, to supply the local and international meat market, by increasing the quality and quantity to their livestock.