Not chickenfeed: small scale farmers empowered to make a mark in agribusiness sector

22 May 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201914643

Commerce & Trade
Education & Training
Food & Beverage
Government & Municipal
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ETHEKWINI Municipality has invested R10 million over the past two years on capital infrastructure projects that support local farmers in the city.

This was revealed at a graduation ceremony of the small-scale poultry farmers held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre recently.

Twenty-two young men and women from across the region were equipped with crucial skills as part of the City’s Radical Agrarian Socio-Economic Transformation (RASET) Programme. Farmers were provided with training on financial management, marketing, poultry processing and the funding models available.

The skills transfer forms part of the Municipality’s poultry development and supply value chain programme which includes the overhaul and development of the Cato Ridge Chicken Farm, the lucrative signing of a major retailer to source chicken reared by small scale farmers and the establishment of production facility in Verulam to produce 80 000 eggs daily.

The farm will be used as an anchor site, supported by satellite poultry hubs in the various regions of the city, and will be fully kitted with quarantine stations, rearing farms, breeder farms, hatcheries, grower farms and processing facilities for poultry production.

The plan also includes facilitating supply contracts with retailers, chicken restaurants and outlets to be supplied free-range and broiler chicken and egg products.

According to the municipality, negotiations are at an advanced stage with commercial partners which will assist with operations of the Cato Ridge Chicken Farm.

The City is also in the process of finalising the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Iyanda Holdings and has identified suitable site at Cottonlands, in Verulam, which it will lease to the company for them to farm and produce 80 000 eggs a day.

Through the MOU, Iyanda Holdings will subcontract and mentor emerging poultry farmers who will produce 50 percent of the required stock.

An excited graduate, Patience Shata from KwaMashu said: “The training has helped me greatly to get a better understanding of the business and finance side of things. I have also networked with other people in the programme and we can form our own cooperative and produce quality chickens.”

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