The Western Cape Department of Agriculture in South Africa has developed a smart decision-making tool,  the Ostrich Slaughter Planner for the ostrich industry.

The tool was launched by Dr. Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture.  The Ostrich Slaughter Planner is a smart technology tool developed by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture in a bid to attend to the industry’s need of streamlining recordkeeping, planning, and issuing of permits for the slaughter of ostriches at the abattoirs.

There has been a collaboration between the Agriculture department, its team of animal scientists, and the ostrich industry for more than 20 years. This has therefore resulted in a producer-centered and problem-focused approach in seeking solutions to bolster the industry.

The Ostrich Slaughter Planner was developed by Dr. Anel Engelbrecht, a Senior Scientist at the Oudtshoorn Research Farm, and Arie van Ravenswaay, Assistant Director Innovation, Technology Design, and Transfer within the Programme Research and Technology Development Services.

Speaking at the official launch, Minister Meyer pointed out that research and innovation are central to building the capabilities of the agricultural sector.

“For this reason, structured training and education are one of my key priorities.  The Western Cape is the proud owner of the only ostrich research facility in the world and boasts a research team responsive to the needs of the ostrich industry with research excellence and innovative approaches.”

Also speaking, Dr Ilse Trautmann, Chief Director of the Programme Research and Technology Development Services, described the digital tool as a pivotal one in the ostrich producers’ toolkit.

“The industry slaughters between 140 000 – 160 000 birds annually. The tool, which is accessible on both computer and smartphone, calculates all the required dates that a producer needs for the movement and slaughter of ostriches.

“This innovative tool embraces the 4IR drive of the Department and the agricultural sector and enables ostrich producers to plan better and ensure a streamlined process from farm to abattoir.”

“The ostrich industry is valued at R900 million with 370 registered farms and employing 15 000 workers. It is one of the major economic drivers in the Western Cape, particularly the Klein Karoo,” concludes Meyer.

 

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