ONS VRA DIE VARKBOER…

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As mens in varkboerdery belangstel, moet jy regtig weet wat jy doen. Varkboerdery is glad nie vir sissies nie. Dit verg harde werk asook gespesialiseerde en spesifieke kennis van die bedryf. Varkboerdery is ook meer gekompliseerd as die ander boerdery tipes.Varkboerdery behels ook ‘n omvattende kennis van besigheid, arbeidsregte, natuurswetenskappe, diereproduksie en finansiëlebestuur – dit is as jy ‘n suksesvolle varkboer wil wees. Die bedryf is uitdagend en dit sal pas by iemand wat nogal kan aanhou, uithou en vasbyt. Ons moet ook in gedagte hou dat varke gedurig moet eet (amper nes mense) van vroeg tot laat!

Ons gesels met Hugo Meyer, ‘n varkboer van Skeerpoort. Ons vra ‘n paar vrae en besef gou dat varkboerdery nie speletjies is nie. Ons vra wat dit alles regtig behels en wat jongmense wat belangstel om volhoubaar en suksesvol in die varkboerbedryf betrokke te raak te kan

doen. Hugo het sy B-graad in Landbou ekonomie voltooi in 1976, en toe daarna ‘n Nasionale Hoër Diploma in Landbou. Hy kan spog met 36 jaar in die varkboerderybedryf. Hugo is lief vir sy werk, dit is sy hele lewe. Hy verwys na homself as die middelman in die besigheidskring. Hugo benadruk dat jongmense beslis diereproduksie sal moet studeer en kwalifiseer – want varkboerdery is erg gekompliseerd.

Daar is soveel aspekte wat die groei of belemmering van ‘n varkboerdery kan veroorsaak. Kennis is dan uiters belangrik. “Varkboerdery is ook nie ‘n goedkoop besigheid nie, dit is kapitaal intensief,” bevesting Hugo. “Die staalwerk van my penne alleen beloop reeds miljoene rande en is ontwerp deur ‘n ingenieur,” voeg Hugo by. Hugo vertel ook dat ‘n mens teelvarke moet aankoop en dat jy ook ‘n ‘vader en moederlyn’ kry. Dit werk op ‘n kudde binne ‘n kudde konsep.

Wat ook belangrik is, is om met varke te werk wat siektevry is. Dit behels spesifieke patogeen- en atrofies rhinitis- sowel as mikroplasmavrye varke. Dit is sekere bakterieë wat die varke se longe en ander organeaantas wat hulle dan onbevoeg maak vir slag. Van hierdie siektes kan ook veroorsaak dat die varke selfs snoet-bloei ervaar of dat hulle met ‘n skewe snoet gebore word. Baie is ook onder die indruk dat varkboerdery maklik is en dat ‘n mens sommer gou baie geld kan maak. Dit is eintlik glad nie so nie.Varkboerdery staan op ses hoofpilare: gesondheid, genetika, voeding, omgewing en behuising, kapitaal, en bestuur. “Varkboerdery is ontsaglik kapitaal-intensief en is nie vir klein beleggers bedoel nie,” bevestig

Hugo. Daar is ook sprake van ‘free-range’ varke. Ons vra toe wat dit behels en of dit ‘n goeie ding is. Hugo beklemtoon dat dit glad nie gesond is nie aangesien die varke dan vry is om hulle eie mis te eet en die van ander. So, dit is duidelik, die ‘free-range’ ding is nou nie die nuutste ‘buzz-word’ in varkboerdery soos in andere nie. Wat die gesondheid en gelukkigheid van varke betref is dit mees

doeltreffend om varke in ‘n kalm en streslose omgewing te laat. “Stres is nie goed vir hulle nie, jy moet onthou hulle kan ook nie sweet nie,” sê Hugo. Die proses van geboorte tot slagting is ongeveer 22 weke. Sôe moet nie swaarder as 105 kg wees nie. Die nadruk is op groei en nie ‘vet’ nie. Daar is ook ‘n probleem in Suid-Afrika wat varkvoorraad betref. Ons voer meeste van ons varkprodukte in van Europa – meestal van Frankryk en Duitsland. Dit wys tog dat daar ‘n gesonde mark vir varkboerdery in SA is.

Daar is geleentheid vir nuwe opkomende varkboere. Maar daar is ook die probleem dat die bedryf tog seisoen gebonde is. Die droë somer het ook veroorsaak dat vark produkteprysestyg. Dit is as gevolg van die watertekort en voer en die bykomende koste. Dit kan ook prysstygings veroorsaak op die langtermyn.

“Jy moet omtrent 7 000 varke verkoop per jaar om as ‘n varkboer selfvolhoubaar te wees,” herinner Hugo. Ons vra hom wat het sy sukses teweegbring. “Wees hard op standaarde en sag op jou mense,” sê Hugo. “As jy moet, plaas mense in die werksplek wat beter is as wat jy is,” voeg hy by. Hy laat ons ook met nog ‘n woord van wysheid, “moenie so hard wees op die mense wat vir jou werk soos wat jy op jouself is nie,” sluit Hugo af.

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