The study was conducted to identify farmers’ perception and ranking of the most important constraints to sheep production at Sinqumeni administrative area, in Ngcobo local municipality of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaire. The results showed that 72.6% of the surveyed farmers were males and 62.5% of the farmers were between the ages of 52-80 years. The most important challenges of sheep production perceived by the farmers were disease and parasites (27%), shortage of feed (16.7%), lack of infrastructure (16%), organized market access (14.7%), lack of water availability (10.1%), high cost of drugs/vaccines (9.8%), stock theft (5.7%) respectively. Thus, there is a need to forge strategic partnership with various stakeholders to control the identified challenges through on-going training of farmers using a demonstration approach rather than an oral presentation, formation of cooperatives to minimise the cost of drugs; and conservation of feed and rain water harvesting in preparation for dry season can be a sustainable way of overcoming the constraints experienced by small-scale sheep producers.
Key words: Constraints, feed, disease, sheep, small-scale.
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