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South African Journal of Agricultural Extension

On-line version ISSN 2413-3221
Print version ISSN 0301-603X


MOLOTSI, A. H.; OOSTING, S.; CLOETE, S. W. P.  and  DZAMA, K.. Factors influencing off-take rates of smallholder sheep farming systems in the Western Cape Provinve of South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2019, vol.47, n.3, pp.83-91. ISSN 2413-3221.

The purpose of this study was to determine off-take rates in smallholder sheep farming systems in the Western Cape province of South Africa. A purposeful sampling technique was used where smallholder farmers were selected based on certain criteria. The criterion set out was that farmers must own between five and 100 sheep. Interviews were conducted with 72 smallholder farmers in three districts, namely the West Coast, Karoo and Eden. General information on the socio-economic status of the farmers was obtained through semi-structured questionnaires. The main sources of income for the Karoo farmers was livestock (46%) and crops for Eden (32%). Farmers in the West Coast area mostly relied on salaries (43%), thus off-farm income. The Karoo district sold a higher average number of lambs per year (41 ± 8.8), with West Coast and Eden selling the same average number of lambs per year at 7 ± 2.2 and 7 ± 2.6 respectively. Overall, the income derived from livestock is low and not economically sustainable. Therefore, different strategies (such as access to market, financial assistance, improved animal nutrition and health management, as well as sound breeding plans) should be employed to assist smallholder livestock farmers to increase off-take rates.

Keywords : Age; District; Gender; Income; Livelihood; Sustainability.

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