UNE Business School Seminar Series

Date: 23 March 2017 – 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: UNE SMART Region Incubator, Ground Floor EBL Building (W42)

Seminar Title: “Integrating Animal Science and Psychology to Incubate Smallholder Value Chains: Beef and Poultry Case Studies in South Africa”

Rural entrepreneurship is proving to be a major challenge in South Africa, where over three million people of learning and working age are neither at school nor at work, but choose to live in rural areas where there are no job prospects because of the lower cost of living and the support networks located in their villages (StatsSA, 2016). Livestock are very important to these smallholder farmers for cultural reasons. In 2016, there were 13.6 million head of beef cattle in South Africa with 42 percent (5.7 million head) owned by small-scale emerging and communal farmers. However cattle off-take from these farmers is very low, meaning they currently contribute less than 5 percent to South Africa’s GDP from beef (Red Meat Producers’ Organisation, 2016).

The South African government is spending billions of rand to stimulate employment and entrepreneurship across many industries, including agriculture. We have been awarded funds to create entrepreneurship amongst some of the longer-term rural unemployed people, by providing them with opportunities to become poultry (broiler or layer) farmers and linking them to commercial markets via newly-formed poultry value chains. In addition, an ACIAR-funded project in South Africa is simultaneously working in partnership with two commercial supermarket chains and their collaborating abattoirs to link small-holder beef farmers with new beef value chains which are specifically targeting high-value, free-range beef market specifications to meet the almost unlimited demand from South Africa’s wealthier urban consumers. Our interest in both studies is to identify the personal factors of individuals that either create successful (or unsuccessful) entrepreneurial poultry farmers from a background of long-term unemployment, or which improve the business performance of smallholder beef farmers targeting the specifications of high-value free-range beef markets.

From both studies we aim to develop psychological profiles that can be used to design specific interventions or preferred learning styles that will assist every farmer to adopt new technologies, tools, practices or processes. Some of the preliminary results from both studies will be presented in this seminar.


Dr Nkhanedzeni (Baldwin) Nengovhela has commenced a new position as a Scientific Manager in Animal Production at the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), after 18 years as a researcher with the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa (ARC). Baldwin is a registered animal scientist, who started his career as an animal breeder, working on genetic evaluation of sheep and beef. His interests evolved into animal science research for sustainable rural livelihoods, and recently he has focused on incubating smallholder value chains or encouraging participation in existing value chains. He is currently the South African leader of an ACIAR-funded project on developing new grass-fed beef value chains for smallholder cattle farmers.

Baldwin holds a BSc Agric Hons from the University of Limpopo, MSc from Oklahoma State University (Fulbright Scholar) and PhD from the University of Queensland (Alwright Scholar). Baldwin has published a wide variety of peer reviewed articles, popular articles, conference proceedings and chapters in books, and has given many keynote addresses, conference presentations, radio interviews as well as a series of television lectures.

Baldwin’s other skills include teaching and assessing animal science at university and sector education level, scientific liaison, research management, journal editing and developing multi-disciplinary projects.