The recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in KwaZulu-Natal has placed enormous strain on South Africa’s livestock industry. Speaking on the Farmer’s Inside Track farmers podcast, Afrivet chief executive Dr Peter Oberem says that the outbreak has major implications for the country’s export markets.
“The world system has been developed to control the disease, and this system severely limits trade. If we then have an outbreak here, it affects us enormously, not because of the symptoms or the damage the virus causes, but very specifically because of the control measures that are put in place.”
Oberem says that, to animals indigenous to South Africa or that have been here long enough to develop resistance, the damage done by FMD tends to be mild. The animals have evolved alongside FMD, making them mostly asymptomatic. However, livestock from other parts of the world are highly susceptible to the disease.
“Exotic cattle, cattle in Europe, cattle in North America, the imported dairy cattle that we farm with, they are highly susceptible, especially the dairy cattle. They have their milk production destroyed.”
The recent outbreak in KZN is having negative consequences for farmers in the area. Oberem says that commerce with those farmers have been severely restricted.
“There’s no movement of animals allowed. They can’t sell those animals, except with a permit to an abattoir. And if it is a productive cow, you would probably get R35 000 for it if you sold it. But now, the only outlet – at least until the quarantine is lifted – [is] to send it to an abattoir.”
Despite the bleak effects of FMD, farmers are still able to enact some control over the disease. Listen to this week’s “Farmer’s Tip of the Week”, to hear Oberem’s advice.
Other farmers podcast highlights:
The best agriculture news podcast on the planet also features other highlights for the agricultural sector this week:
- The 10 top tips to start your own fish farm: Developing the aquaculture sector is a big part of South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030, with many people joining the current fish farming trend. Learn more on this week’s episode.
- Farmer development with FarmSol: Managing Director of FarmSol, Aron Kole, chats to us about helping young farmers develop their businesses.
- Keep your livestock in shape: Winter can be hard on your livestock. That’s why Voermol’s Dr Francois van de Vyfer is here to give us insight on how to keep them in shape all year round.
- A top farming tip for young farmers: Agri Western Cape and Santam Agriculture’s 2021 Young Farmer of the Year finalist, Jo-andra Gregory, tells us what her top farming tip is.
- Book of the week: Our book of the week is Choose Yourself, by James Altucher. The book is selected by you, our listeners.
- Soil Sistas: This week’s #SoilSista, powered by Food For Mzansi and Corteva Agriscience, is Gauteng livestock farmer Boitumelo Modisane. She gives us insight into how she became a successful farmer, despite all the barriers in her way
How to listen to Farmer’s Inside Track
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