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University of South Africa (2019)

Rangeland management practices among emerging livestock farmers in Gauteng province, South Africa

Letsoalo, Ngoako Lucas

Titre : Rangeland management practices among emerging livestock farmers in Gauteng province, South Africa

Auteur : Letsoalo, Ngoako Lucas

Université de soutenance : University of South Africa

Grade : Master of Science (MS) in Agriculture 2019

Résumé partiel
In South Africa, communal and/or emerging farmers’ rangeland condition and grazing capacities deteriorate, because grazing capacity is usually over-estimated due to lack of knowledge on veld and livestock production system by the farmers. Woody plants has encroached in the arid and semi-arid savannas and grasslands biomes many parts of world, including in southern Africa. This causes challenges to farm owners due to its negative effects on the herbaceous plant material, which offers a substantial part of forage for livestock production. Although the consequences of deteriorating rangeland condition on livestock production is understood, there is limited research on the impact of land ownership on rangeland condition. Furthermore, knowledge on how farmers manages their livestock and rangelands. The objectives were to document the knowledge of emerging livestock farmers on livestock-rangeland management practices, and to determine the effects of land ownership and practices on rangeland condition. Firstly, we hypothesize that, emerging livestock farmers unknowingly manages livestock in isolation from their rangelands, and secondly, rangeland in private owned lands are relatively in good conditions compared to communal and leased lands. Fifty (50) emerging livestock farmers (i.e. ruminants) in different vegetation types and district municipalities of the Gauteng province were selected using a snowball procedure. To investigate the knowledge of emerging farmers on livestock - rangeland management practices, the farmers were asked questions about their 1) demographic information, 2) livestock management practices and 3) rangeland management practices. To test the differences in farmers’ demographic profiles, Chi-square statistics was employed. To determine the effects of land ownership on rangeland condition of the selected farms, rangeland condition among three land ownership types was compared using ANOVA, and the relations between veld condition score (%) and herbaceous biomass production (kg DM/ha) was tested using Pearson’s correlation analysis The results revealed that, the emerging livestock farmer are dominated by males (68 %) compared to female (32%). Majority (66%) of the farmers are old aged (> 50 years) compared to middle aged (30% (31 – 50 years)) and young (< 30 years) farmers (4%). Farmers who did not receive any agricultural training were higher (74%) than farmers who had prior training (26%). Sixty-three percent of the farmers had knowledge and understanding of breeding and calving seasons of their livestock, with only 27% having no knowledge and understanding of breeding and calving seasons of their animals.

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