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Livestock farming, the rearing of animals for food and other human uses, is “by far the largest agricultural subsector” (BFAP, 2022). This section of our website looks at the major livestock and their commodities, but also at the ones that do not draw that much attention in the agricultural media.

Poultry and chicken farming vies with the maize industry as the biggest agricultural sector.

Beef cattle farming was seen to have the second largest Gross Value of Production (GPV) of agriculture in South Africa in 2021 (BFAP, 2021). It has also been regarded as having enormous potential if the informal market can be tapped into.

Wool (sheep) account for 3% of South Africa’s agricultural exports.

The pork sector is one of the sectors which has already exceeded the growth that the National Development Plan was targeting for 2030, as has dairy (cattle).

In this section we include some categories which overlap specific species, specifically the general animal husbandry page (which includes information on the issues affecting livestock, animal welfare standards, and across-the-board suppliers of services and equipment) and animal improvement and breedersSpeciality fibre production cuts across different species like alpacas, rabbit (for wool), and the look at indigenous and locally developed breeds looks at several species too.

Aquaculture covers all the sectors, freshwater and marine fish (although fisheries is paired with the ocean economy as a regional – indeed global! – issue).

Bees are crucial for pollination, and there are multi-uses of their products. Food fraud, where sugar and syrup are passed off as honey, is an issue that consumers should be aware of, especially if they are buying it for health reasons! To buy South African products here is the safest recommendation.

You will also find pages on donkeys; horses; ostriches; goats; sheep; ducks, geese and gamebirds; game; and rabbits in this section.

Biosecurity is included as the issues section, while pages on livestock-relevant topics  animal feeds and animal health are covered elsewhere.