Proceedings

PR – The Drakensberger As Competitive Breed Of Cattle In The South African Beef Industry

This paper focuses on the Drakensberger as competitive beef breed of cattle. The Drakensberger is a medium-framed black cattle breed, indigenous to South Africa. The breed fares well in key requirements for successful cattle farming, and although the breed has much to offer, it does not enjoy a large market share in the country. Resultantly, this low market share raises questions as to why an indigenous, quality cattle breed has a low market share. The primary objective was to determine the South African farmer’s perception on Drakensberger as cattle breed in the market. This was achieved by the secondary objectives that identify and describe the competitive South African cattle breeds, identify the characteristics a South African farmer looks for a cattle breed, measure the Drakensberger’s performance against these identified characteristics, and to clarify the low market share. The literature study reviewed the background of the South African cattle industry, identified the competitors in the cattle market, and also assessed the Drakensberger breed’s potential. From the literature it was evident that the breed has no fatal flaws. It outperforms certain other more popular cattle breeds, and the Drakensberger is also exceptionally well adapted for the diverse South African conditions, performing well on even low quality sour grass veld conditions. The empirical research employed qualitative research to determine the characteristics important to South African cattle farmers. Additionally, quantitative research, using a structured questionnaire, was employed to determine cattle breeders’ perceptions of the Drakensberger and competitive cattle breed. The data showed a high reliability coefficient of 0.83 (as calculated by the Cronbach Alpha). The results showed that farmers prefer cattle breeds possessing hardiness, high fertility, high weaning weight and, surprisingly, the colour of the breed. The colour preference negatively impacts on the Drakensberger as South African farmer prefer red and not black cattle breeds (such as the Drakensberger). However, farmers farming with the Drakensberger are very satisfied with the breed’s performance, even more so that the farmers of other cattle breeds are with their breeds.

Keywords: Drakensberger cattle; marketing of cattle; potential of cattle; marng perceptions; characteristics of cattle; black beef cattle

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Author(s): Bisschoff, C., Lotriet R.

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Organizations(s): Potchefstroom Business School, North-West University