News24

Farm springbok in Karoo, report says

2012-10-18 14:45

Johannesburg - Graaff-Reinet and the Karoo could do better in future if it was farming springbok and not sheep, according to a report published on Thursday.

Rhodes University PhD student Thula Dlamini submitted a paper on it at a conference on Wednesday, the Herald Online reported.

The paper suggests that springbok farming could be a viable option to reverse the impact that sheep farming had caused.

It says for hundreds of years, domestic livestock grazing had negatively affected the biodiversity of ecological niche areas in the Karoo by the eating of selective plant species, according to the publication.

The constant grazing had interfered with the diversity of species, and technologies like windmills and wire fencing had also contributed to the Karoo's environmental destruction.

Dlamini's research comes at a time when many Karoo farmers believe fracking will destroy the area and turn it into a barren wasteland.

Comments
  • fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-10-18 15:11

    Good luck on this idea. Dream on.

  • norman.benn.35 - 2012-10-18 15:30

    How many farm workers will loose their jobs.

  • denis.dendrinos - 2012-10-18 15:33

    hmmm......alot of negative responses on this, and yet this is their more natural terrain and they are best suited to arid conditions. Springbok for Sunday lunch....not a bad idea!

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-10-18 15:35

    Good luck with your simplistic utopian dream, young man. Maybe we should stop cattle farming, cropping and forestry as well...Oh, and what about mining, industry and manufacturing.

      Werewabbit - 2012-10-18 16:09

      He was offering an alternative, something more effective than what is currently farmed: a "viable Alternative."

      jomar.delange - 2012-10-18 17:55

      Makes sense to farm animals adapted to the landscape. In Australia, sheep farming is ruining the thin layer of topsoil and some experts argue that kangaroo farming is a more sensible alternative. Why not?

      rowan.clark.10 - 2012-10-19 23:40

      Rustic when you compare fencelines, some farms are sadly overgrazed ,stones and toffee apple trees thats all that is left .Compare Kwande game reserves lush Spekboom lungs outside Grahamstown and some of the hillside farms on the Steytlerville road and see how smallstock have flattened these similar veldtypes . Eland I have always thought as being an option and springbok for the vlaktes unfortunately culling is the only way to harvest them but they could be less labour and maintenance .

  • cobus.stals - 2012-10-18 16:13

    Poor article, not well thought through. Livestock farming is however better for biodiversity than say monoculture farming or fracking for that matter could ever be. Wildlife farming would probably be the best for biodiversity, but then how do you keep your "livestock" in your farms withou having some sort of fencing for management? And would the harvesting of springbok be economically viable for the farmer and the meat be affordable for the consumer? Would be great in an ideal world...

      ally.oh.7 - 2012-10-18 17:52

      Ill-informed criticism by diekous. Please don't flaunt your stupidity. A news article is not a treatise on any topic, it is a snippet that may (or may not) interest readers.

  • SNG62 - 2012-10-18 16:13

    This PHD student (so we have to believe he/she is "bright") submitted a paper on the matter, which has been condensed into 6 short paragraphs by News 24. I'm sure the research paper goes into quite some detail regarding the switch-over, socio economic impacts etc. Instead of being prophets of doom, let's celebrate that someone is thinking laterally & coming up with new ideas. Maybe there's something in this theory ...

  • Thermophage - 2012-10-18 16:17

    Wow...WTF is wrong with all you negative people? This is a viable idea and wouldn't really detract from jobs too much as you'd now be FARMING them, not just letting them run wild. Sheep and goat farming has seriously screwed up the karoo. Think before you talk.

      mike.down.5492 - 2012-10-18 16:23

      Awesome meat springbok, properly cooked. I would love to have access to cheaper springbok meat if it's farmed.

  • nikondaniel - 2012-10-18 16:51

    Sounds like a great plan!

  • marc.ross.965 - 2012-10-18 16:51

    Why is the response so negative when we all know it's time to think out of the box regarding the impact on our enviroment. Springbok, Gemsbok and Eland are excellent meats, they dont require the medications that "domesticated" livestock do. They are also more resistant to drought.

  • aj.oosthuizen.7 - 2012-10-18 21:14

    Living in Graaff-Reinet, i can say that this would not end well. Thanks for the idea, but I fear there will be major food shortages if we were to stop sheep farming in the Karoo. But I do get where he is coming from, they do need to change the grazing in the area urgently....but anyway, the last point I would like to make is taste. I know more people who would prefer sheep meat than Springboks, but that may not be true for all cases..

      Thermophage - 2012-10-19 11:24

      Why would there be food shortages? You're not JUST stopping sheep farming there, but starting farming a different animal that is better adapted to the region. My uncle has a farm there close to Pearston and the area has changed so much in the last 20 years it's almos tnot viable to even farm sheep and goats anymore.

  • pages:
  • 1