National breed sale: Validation of Brahman breed dominance?

31 Jul, 2022 - 00:07 0 Views
National breed sale: Validation of Brahman breed dominance? Brahman breeds

The Sunday News

THE National breed sale was held on Wednesday last week and once again the event showed a predictable breed performance in terms of sales trends.

Again the Brahman breed stamped its authority as the highest selling breed during this premier annual livestock farmers event. 

While other breeds such as the Simmental almost failed to sell a single animal, the Brahman was having a field day, with bids going as high as US$16 000 for a bull. 

This is not an all time high bid as previous bids have breached the US$24 000 mark, but US$16 000 is still a good bid and perhaps a good sell any day, especially in our economy. 

The yarding itself tells a clear dominance story of the Brahman in the market. While I do not have actual figures of what was yarded for the national breed sale, a glimpse of the bids chart clearly shows that Brahman breeders yarded more than other breeders. 

This is also supported by statistics from the Zimbabwe Herd Book, which registered stud breeders and their animals. There are 77 registered Brahman breeders with more than 4 000 animals registered under their names, while the Simmental has only seven registered stud breeders with 400 registered Simmentals between themselves. 

The second highly registered breed is the Boran with 56 farmers contributing close to 3 500 registered animals. 

Brahman stud

The lesson here being that, if other breeders want to compete pound for pound for the market share during this premier event, they need to market their breeds and push the numbers in the livestock industry. 

The breed simply has to be popular for it to stimulate sufficient demand to be able to provide it with enough traction during the bidding process. 

The equation is very simple, well known breed equals well sought after plus well bidded for! Without the deliberate and vigorous growth of the registered herd of other breeds, Zimbabwe is headed for a de facto Brahman breed monopoly. 

Animal scientists and even livestock farmers will tell you that some breeds actually perform much better than the Brahman in some of the important production traits but because these other breed societies probably did not go overdrive in marketing their breeds, they remain little known despite their important attributes. 

Marketing is a very powerful tool of making one’s product known in the market. 

Zimbabweans will agree with me that until very recently, we almost had an undeclared monopoly in the beverage industry, with us consumers exposed to nothing else than a product from one producer. 

One will argue that the product was vigorously and widely advertised such that it almost totally closed space for any other beverage product. Things have changed slightly over the last decade. 

Livestock farmer

The point being, other breeding societies need to come out and sell their product to the livestock farmer until their breed is known, otherwise they might as well close shop. Stud breeder produce and sell mostly to commercial producers. A commercial herd in livestock terms, is anything which is not registered. 

In other words, every other livestock farmer who is not a registered stud or pedigree producer, is a commercial herd farmer. Therefore, the commercial herd is the market for most stud breeders as livestock farmers try to improve the quality of heir commercial herd. 

Now, if farmers with commercial herds do not find your breed appealing or not even know anything about your breed, you are probably doomed as a stud breeder because you have no outlet market. 

One Simmental breeder actually admitted to me that they need to do more in the marketing arena of their breed, because currently he sells way better at farm gate when individual farmers come to his farm. 

This is because he gets to walk the farmer through the competitive attributes of the Simmental against other contemporary breeds, in other words he gets to market the Simmental breed! 

While the Simmental has been largely mentioned in this article, it is not the intention of this writer nor the publication to down play their contribution in the beef industry nor to bring any form of prejudice to breed and its producers. 

There are many other breeds in the same low key zone that need to up the stakes a little bit and provide the much needed plurality of the breeds in the livestock sector. 

In the absence of other breeds coming to party in terms of marketing their breeds, the national breed sale will always be a David versus Goliath affair, the only difference being that, Goliath wins! 

Uyabonga umntakaMaKhumalo. 

Mhlupheki Dube is a livestock specialist and farmer. He writes in his own capacity. Feedback [email protected]/ cell 0772851275

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