Port Elizabeth- South African Society for Animal Science (SASAS) kicked of its 50th annual Congress themed “Golden Innovations for Sustainable Animal Agriculture” at the Boardwalk Conference Centre.
The three day congress which began today (18 September 2017) conference will end on the 21st of this month. Member of the Executive Council (MEC) Mlibo Qoboshiyane welcomed and introduced guests which came from as far as the United States and students to the province. He further highlighted the importance livestock farming and agriculture in general is to the Eastern Cape and South Africa.
“Agriculture is the most important industry each country has and indeed for the great Province of the Eastern Cape. Agriculture contributed to pulling our nations’s economy from a recession to a positive trajectory during the last quarter.”
MEC Qoboshiyane further stated how the communal farmers from the Eastern Cape have the most animals in comparison to other provinces but they are not making a substantial ruminant livestock offtake in these areas. He added that an increase in the Eastern Cape ruminal offtake can only be achieved if there are more government and private sector partnerships like the SASAS.
“The Eastern Cape has a new agricultural economic strategy, the overall strategy is to make agriculture in the province’s economic circumstance, while developing agriculture to make the Eastern Cape the breadbasket of South Africa.”
Keynote address was delivered by Prof J.B.J van Ryssen who spoke about Animal Science and the history of SASAS since it was founded in 1967. Prof Ryssen spoke of highlights of the past years and significant changes in the society for it to become what it is today.
“In the past, the proceeding of this congress used to be published and printed in hardcover books up until the 1970s. They have contributed to the knowledge and research that has assisted the growth and development of livestock in South Africa.”
Exhibits were also present from students to showcase their research topics for the duration of the congress followed by presentations from the different universities.