The Nguni Cattle Project, which was shelved following allegations of financial impropriety, has been revived, this time with contingency measures to ensure it does not fail.
KwaZulu-Natal MEC for agriculture Meshack Hadebe said on Friday at Cedara Agricultural College in Pietermaritzburg that his department had injected R15m to restart the project.
The aim of the Nguni project remains the promotion and conservation of the genetic base of Nguni cattle and the revitalisation, commercialisation and popularisation of KwaZulu-Natal’s indigenous livestock. The project aims to achieve this by supplying the farmers of the province with strong indigenous breeding stock.
Nguni cattle are known for their resistance to disease and their ability to thrive under tough conditions in Africa.
“I am optimistic that the Nguni project will now take off without any hassle as all gaps have been addressed. We cannot deny people the opportunity to participate in the breeding of the Nguni livestock. I want to see the supply of Nguni cattle benefiting the impoverished in rural areas.
“There is a great likelihood that our new strategy of breeding the Nguni livestock will be replicated by other provinces as some of them have shown great interest,” said Hadebe.
Forty-four beneficiaries are expected to receive Nguni cattle during the first phase of the project. The relaunch was attended by, among others, amakhosi, cabinet members, commercial farmers and members of the public.