Emerging mohair farmers boosted by new Eastern Cape support programme

11th April 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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A new initiative, the Mohair Industry Support Programme (MISP), was launched in the Eastern Cape province on Thursday. MISP is a result of the signing of a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) and the Mohair Empowerment Trust (MET). The MET is itself an initiative of Mohair South Africa.

MISP’s first programme is to inject R1.4-million into four black-owned emerging angora goat farming operations in the Somerset East region of the Sarah Baartman district municipality. Mohair is the name given to the hair clipped (shorn) off Angora goats, and it is desired by global leading fashion brands, interior designers, craft specialists, industrial fibre specialists and the tourism industry.

South Africa is responsible for 54% of the world’s mohair production, with the Eastern Cape accounting for 73% of the country’s production. No less than 90% of this production is exported, 70% to China and Italy.

The mohair is processed in major plants in Gqeberha, Kariega, King Williams Town and Ntabozuko, which include the biggest mohair spinning plant in the world. Mohair produced elsewhere in the world is imported into the Eastern Cape for processing at these plants and then re-exported.

“The MoU facilitates access to ECDC’s financial and economic development support and to the MET’s technical support to promote the sustainability, revenue generation and commercialisation efforts of these farmers,” explained ECDC CEO Ayanda Wakaba. “They will benefit from technical skills transfer while improving the quality of the mohair they produce. The objective is to transform the industry by bringing into the commercial value chain more mohair producers from previously disadvantaged groups.”

The Driefontein Farm received R546 800 to buy 200 angora goats, plus irrigation piping. Uitkomst Farm was given R561 978, via the Imvaba Cooperatives Fund (which is administered by the ECDC), for a fully-equipped irrigation system, which will allow this farm to produce its own feed. Irene Farm received R149 000, via the ECDC Small Town, Township and Rural Enterprise Support Programme (STTREP), to purchase 130 angora goats. Rhulani Farm was granted R143 231, also via STTREP, to buy solar panels to provide the farm with power.

“This project has turned the fortunes of these black farmers who have 30-year leases on the farms owned by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development,” he affirmed. “Introducing these farmers to angora goat farming, capacity building and funding has greatly improved the profitability and sustainability of these development farms in their pursuit to be commercial farmers.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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