2019 was a good year for SAPPO’s BTA

The Baynesfield Training Academy (BTA) has for more than eight years played a small but meaningful role to supply technically informed, economically aware and competitively wise decision makers to the South African pig industry. So said Darrol Hopkins, acting chairperson of the BTA at the academy’s annual general meeting last week.

Hopkins said that 2019 had been another progressive year of training facility upgrades, capital development, increased production efficiency and ongoing financial stability. After improvements the BTA finished the year with a profit confirming a viable status and relevance to the South African pig industry with reserve funds intact.

“Piggery unit manager Rodney Khumalo’s focus on performance under the watchful eye of Gerd Baum and Dr Heinz Bodenstein has progressively improved pig performance to the level of a nationally comparable standard.

DAFF again contributed to the piggery management by funding two assistants. Were it not for the disruption in the general industry by AFS and the knock-on effect on pig prices the piggery would most certainly have recorded an even greater final result than stated. The move to an alternate market supply contract this year has also proven financially positive,” Hopkins said.

“During the year an extensive project to reshape the piggery waste and lagoon system was successfully undertaken and completed.

“Training reported an increase in activity spear headed by our professionally dedicated manager Thembilihle Ngiba and her team including Boykie Mogase and Sne Dlamini. Assisted by Kgadi Senyatsi at SAPPO head office in Pretoria a total of 223 trainees attended 21 one-week courses during the year which included three artificial insemination courses.

Three farmers information days were held and were well supported by almost 300 farmers and interested parties. “The BTA Board and management continue to seek out areas for improvement and to further invest in piggery business efficiencies as well as the experience offered to training,” according to Hopkins.

The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.