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Press Releases

06 May 2015

Primary Animal Healthcare in the context of disease prevention and scaling-up for small-scale farmer communities: Research, policy and delivery

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Livestock health and development is important in the context of the socio-economic impact that livestock development has on food security, human health and well-being and sustainable livelihoods. Animal healthcare is important to ensure that livestock are healthy and free from disease. The past two decades have seen significant changes in the provision of veterinary services, especially in rural areas, due to privatisation and government cut-backs. These changes have led to a new policy environment which requires new approaches, strategies and on-going discussion to assess how policies related to livestock development and animal healthcare may positively impact on socioeconomic and rural development for small-scale farmers.

To this end, the Human Sciences Research Council and the Agriculture Research Council have partnered to tackle this important, but often neglected issue in a series of policy dialogues. The HSRC, a research body concerned with human, social and economic development recognises that rural livestock farming development cannot be separated from broader issues of socioeconomic development.


The first policy dialogue to be held on Monday, 11 May 2015 will focus on primary animal healthcare and its challenges in the context of small-scale livestock farming in South Africa.  The dialogue  explores a range of questions related to broader policy issues including, rural development, veterinary extension services,  empowerment of small-scale farmers, in particular women, and the development of the livestock sector in the context of  small-scale farming, and the role of these issues in fostering economic development, sustainable livelihoods and ultimately rural and urban  food security.

This dialogue is important because a comprehensive agricultural extension services platform that is responsive to small-scale livestock farming systems is necessary for the economic, social and political development of the agricultural sector and food security of the nation (which The Presidency has emphasised in its 20 Year review). The South African National Development Plan however, remains largely silent on the role of livestock production systems. It is timely that policymakers, researchers and project funders come together to discuss these issues.  If credible rural development is to be obtained, then issues of livestock development should be a prime target in the national economic growth planning agenda.

DATE: 11 May 2015

TIME: 09:40 – 15:30