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South Africa offers loans to encourage Nguni cattle entrepreneurs

South Africas Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration has invited loan applications from Mpumalanga farmers interested in breeding Nguni cattle

"The Mpumalanga IDC Nguni Cattle Project aims to reintroduce the Nguni breed in rural farming communities and increase black entrepreneurs in the agribusiness," department spokesman Bheki Nyathikazi said.

"The project seeks to improve and enhance the genes of Ngunis, as well as the animals' performance," he added.

Successful farmers will be loaned a Nguni bull and 30 pregnant heifers for a five-year period and are expected to repay the loan by providing the project with one calf each year for the stated period.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the farm must have basic infrastructure such as fencing, water troughs and a loading zone. The farmers' livestock must be certified free of any noticeable diseases.

The farmers must also be from disadvantaged communities, live in the province and must have a farm bigger than 600 hectares to qualify for the loan, officials said.

The applications need to be accompanied by certified copies of identity documents, proof of farm ownership, a short description of the farm and what it has been utilised for.

The last date to submit applications at the local agricultural extension offices and tribal offices will be July 30, 2012.

South Africa's Industrial Development Corporation and the University of Limpopo have been named as the leading partners in the Mpumalanga IDC Nguni Cattle Project.