by Janet Semple MPL – DA Constituency Head of Boksburg North
It is concerning that very little financial support is being given to small-scale and emerging pig farmers in Gauteng.
During the recent outbreak of Listeriosis, Gauteng small-scale farmers were forced to sell their pigs to abattoirs at a lower price.
This was revealed to me by the Gauteng MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Lebogang Maile in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
Small-scale and emerging farmers do not have the financial resources at their disposal to insure their livestock against a drop in market value.
In addition, commercial farmers have also been affected by the Listeriosis outbreak and they have been forced to reduce the working hours of their staff from seven days to five days.
According to MEC Maile, two piggeries were also forced to close and 12 people who were employed by small-scale farmers lost their jobs because of the Listeriosis outbreak.
While the department has indicated that the affected farmers will receive piggery feeds this month, it will not do much to mitigate loss incurred.
We are calling on the department to put measures in place to assist small-scale and emerging farmers, financially during such outbreaks that is likely to impact on the value of livestock.
The DA will be following up with the MEC to find out if the affected farmers have received the piggery feed.