13th Congress Proceedings
Adoption Of Veterinary Technologies Amongst Sheep And Goat Farmers In Qwaqwa, South Africa
Technological break¬throughs in agriculture after the Second World War mainly concentrated on crop production (wheat, rice, and later maize). In the livestock production sector, besides the substantial improvements in the poultry and dairy production systems, the development of the other livestock technologies was neglected, due to lower returns when compared to those on crop technology. Nevertheless, the usage of livestock veterinary technologies such as veterinary services and medicines remains important for livestock production as animal diseases are a major cause of poor productivity and high mortality rates, which are major constraints to improve food security. The reasons for poor adoption of livestock veterinary technologies amongst livestock farmers all over the world are not fully understood. There is a generally accepted perception amongst veterinary practitioners that these farmers Areact on what they see@ when it comes to the adoption of these technologies and prefer a therapeutic approach rather than a preventative one. This hypothesis was never before scientifically tested. This study proved this hypothesis for the first time. The results suggest that medication technologies are mainly adopted once the problem becomes visible. Sheep and goat farmers (small ruminant farmers) in the former homelands only treat their animals for external parasites (ticks and mites) when they can see them on the animal's skin and wool. No farmer in this area adopts a prophylactic approach in preventing external parasites. This attitude explains a much higher adoption of external parasite remedies than internal parasite remedies, as well as a higher adoption of antibiotics (therapeutic medicine) than vaccines (preventative medicine). Small ruminant farmers react on what they see when it comes to disease control.