Development of the livestock sector in South Africa has the potential to contribute significantly to national development. The aim of this study was to explore challenges and propose recommendations to support livestock sector development in South Africa using a stakeholder-driven approach. Interviews with high-level stakeholders across major livestock industries were conducted to gather insights. Responses were verified by a literature review and supplemented with an event study analysis on parameters for livestock production and exports. Interview respondents revealed livestock disease management in the face of increasing disease burden, high input costs, and limited government resources as a major challenge to national livestock-sector development. Implementation of national and international regulations on controlled diseases severely limits profitability. Emerging farmers are discouraged from investing in livestock disease management and are thus excluded from entering and remaining in the commercial value chains. Inclusive growth of the sector can be achieved through strengthening public-private partnerships through joint mentorship, training, and awareness-raising programmes. Evidence- and risk-based approaches to the national and international regulations and official guidance on outbreak management are needed. National animal identification and traceability systems and wider adoption of compartment systems for biosecurity, growth stimulants and poultry cages can enhance disease management and exports.
Key words: African swine fever, event study analysis, foot-and-mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza, livestock disease, livestock sector development, South Africa, stakeholder-driven approach.
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