Livestock Farming

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The role of livestock farming has grown significantly throughout the world and more especially in developing countries. Livestock production plays a major role in agriculture and sustainable development in Africa. Sheep play a very important role in the South African livestock industry (Brundy et al., 2005, Mapiliyao et al., 2012). Livestock farming has great potential to alleviate household food insecurity and poverty in most of the world's communities. Smallholder livestock keepers represent around 20 percent of the world's population and farm most of the agricultural land in the tropics (FAO, 2012). Projected increases in future demand for livestock in developing countries provide unique opportunities to use sustainable intensification of…show more content…
Many households are engaged in sheep farming and they depend on it for their livelihood. However, the production of these sheep farmers is of small-scale. Approximately 36% of the agricultural land in the N8 development corridor is covered by natural grazing, whilst 61% is cultivated dry land and 3% is under irrigation (The DTEA-FS, MMB Consultant Services, ILO, UOFS, 2012). The farmers in these communal villages around N8 have access to grazing land. They farm mainly with livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats and horses. They are able to produce milk, meat, wool and hides as a source of food for livelihood and for the markets to generating income and self-employment. Currently, an estimated number of sheep for Thaba Nchu is at 15,365 (DRD, 2014) However, the production and benefits are below the margins, and this can be attributed to many factors such as diseases and parasites, feed shortage, poor housing, lack of marketing skills and infrastructure and lack of information. Sheep farming here is characterised by low productivity and inefficient production techniques.
There's a growing demand for livestock in the developing world and stagnant demand in industrialized countries representing a major opportunity for livestock keepers in developing countries, where most demand is met by smallholder farmers (Local production), and which is likely to continue well into the future. This expansion of
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Most of the studies which applied MFA is sheep production were done in Europe, Australia and Asia. Also, MFA has been applied in livestock production particularly beef production in Africa (see Bahta et al., 2015; Otieno et al., 2012). But no efficiency studies on South Africa's sheep production have attempted to employ MFA to estimate the production frontier for different regions and estimate the meta-frontier production function for the sheep industry. Consequently, there is very little information available on MFA application in the sheep industry in South Africa as a whole. It is therefore necessary that a study be done to estimate the TE of these smallholder sheep farmers across the N8 development corridor using the meta-frontier. This study, will contributes to literature by bridging the gap in
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