Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dairy farmers murdered and attacked in South Africa: summary, names, dates

Description A great many commercial dairy farmers are being murdered, often execution-style, and attacked, terrorised, mutilated and their families endangered. In each of these attacks listed here, the suspects were black male gangs, organised, who targetted a specific homestead. Often, the wage-earner would be shot dead. Often before the attack, the farm dogs are poisoned. Police often find hiding places and other signs on or near the attacked farms that the white family's daily habits had been watched for days sometimes even weeks before the attack. Attacked are lists of cases recorded on this site. Other more detailed lists from earlier attacks than those listed here, can also be found on the websites of the Transvaal Agricultural Union NUMBER OF REMAINING COMMERCIAL DAIRY FARMERS IN SOUTH AFRICA SHOWS PROPORTIONALLY HIGH MURDER/ATTACK RATES AGAINST DAIRY FARMERS: By the end of 2011, there were only 2,686 commercial dairy farmers left in South Africa. The majority are Afrikaans/Dutch/German-speakers. --------------------- - In Dec 1997 South Africa had 7,077 commercial dairy farmers. - By January 2006, their numbers had dropped to 4.184 (41% reduction). - By November 2011, the number of commercial dairy farmers had dropped to a mere 2,686 at the start of 2011. From March to January 2011, a total of 646 of SA’s dairy farmers packed up within a ten month period. Koos Coetzee, chief economist of the Milk Producers’ Organisation, which represents around 85 per cent of dairy farmers, says prices now being paid to farmers are on average five per cent lower than a year ago. Koos Coetzee Milk Producers' Association MPO chief economist Dr Koos Coetzee Tel: 012 843 5600 Cell: 082 552 6932 MPO National chairperson Dèan Kleynhans Tel: 028 452 1769 Cell: 082 894 0413 ---- Ironically, despite the fact that the country 's own dairy farmers are in such dire straits, the World Dairy Summit is being held in Cape Town this year: at its International Convention Centre from 4 to 9 November 2012. More than 1,000 delegates are expected to attend, representing over 50 countries. Yet the FAO still reported in 2006 that the total production for the whole of South Africa during the year 2005 to 2006, was 2,053,110 litres of milk and consumption was 2,088,000 for the same period. The remaining dairy farmers are enlarging their herds to keep their businesses profitable: it is noteworthy that total milk production has remained relatively constant around 2 billion litre per annum since 1997 up to 2006, in spite of a decline in the number of commercial milk producers and an increase in the population, from 40.6 million in 1996 to an estimated 47.4 million in 2006 (Stats SA). Of all farming enterprises, dairy farming places the highest demand on advanced technology. Thus skilled and well trained workers are essential. Not only is an intimate knowledge of dairy cattle and their management necessary, but highly sophisticated equipment is used for milking as well as providing the milking cow with the kind of nutrition that will allow her to produce the optimum amount of quality milk. Furthermore, dairy farming is a business and without the relevant business skills, a commercial dairy enterprise is doomed. Apart from the high demand for skilled personnel, the fact that cows must be milked throughout the year twice a day, requires great dedication. Producer prices for milk (the amount of money the primary producer or farmer is paid for milk) was R1 per litre in 1996 (LACTODATA) to just under R2 per litre in 2006. On the other hand, the CONSUMER price for milk has increased from just over R3 per litre in 1996, to almost R5.50 per litre in 2006. DIFFICULTY OF DAIRY FARMING IN SOUTH AFRICA: more than 80% of South Africa is dry to semi-arid with an unreliable rainfall. This makes most of the country unsuited for intensive agricultural production systems like dairy farming. Due to the increasing difficulty of obtaining fodder for the winter-months in the highveld regions where no winter-grazing is available, the geographic distribution of milk production shows that there has been a movement of production from the central provinces to the coastal provinces (Lactodata). Thus milk production has declined in the highveld regions of Free State, Mpumalanga, Northwest and Gauteng, whereas production increased in the low-lying Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape. The Western Cape province is currently the major milk producing area in the country. EMERGING FARMERS: There are almost daily articles in the media stating the need to include 'previously disadvantaged' black people into all enterprises. The MILK PRODUCERS ORGANISATION of SA has on a number of occasions taken steps to encourage emerging farmers to enter the dairy industry. This is a commendable sentiment, but there are a number of challenges that must be overcome: o Dairy farming requires big financial inputs. Emerging farmers must therefore have access to ready financial support. o Te ensure economic viability, starting on a small scale within the current economic environment, emerging farmers will no longer, as in the past, be able to start by milking 5 or 10 cows in the backyard. Already in the 1980’s it was stated that a dairy farm should include at least 85 cows to be profitable.

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