A survey of small-scale cattle farming systems in the North West Province of South Africa

Author: L.M. Schwalbach, I.B. Groenewald and C.B. Marfo
Year: 2001
Issue: 3
Volume: 31
Page: 200 - 204

A questionnaire-based survey was conducted among a purposive sample of 60 small-scale cattle farmers in the Mopeane Rustenburg district, all of whom owned five or more head of cattle. Results showed that small-scale cattle farming is a part-time activity for most farmers in this district, and a way of investing or saving money in a form that is easily converted to cash when needed. This activity also provides households with a source of fresh milk. Contrary to the situation in most other Southern African regions, social status and lobola (bridal dowry) did not constitute the most important reasons for farming with cattle. The poor economic return of these small-scale cattle farming activities and the potential environmental degradation associated with overstocking poses a serious risk to the long-term sustainability of such farming systems.

Keywords: Cattle, faming systems, sustainable
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