ETHEKWINI NEWSFLASH
 
15 MAY 2019
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Small Scale Farmers Empowered To Make a Mark in the Agribusiness Sector
 
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 (Durban ICC) on 15 May.
 
About 22 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.
 
EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said: “The graduation ceremony of our small scale poultry farmers is testimony that the RASET Programme is now in full swing and is bearing fruits. The skills received by our farmers will not only contribute immensely to the economy of our City, but will also create job opportunities, ensure food security and eradicate poverty.”
 
She said according to the South African Poultry Association, KwaZulu-Natal was the fifth biggest producer of poultry in the country, which presented a good opportunity for the region to grow, especially after the City secured the Cato Ridge chicken farm last year.
 
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.
 
She said negotiations are at an advanced stage with commercial partners which will assist with operations of the Cato Ridge Chicken Farm.
 
“We are also in the process of finalising the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Iyanda Holdings (Pty) Ltd. We have identified a suitable site at Cottonlands, in Verulam, which we will lease to the company for them to farm and produce eighty thousand eggs on a daily basis,” she added.
 
Through the MOU, Iyanda Holdings will subcontract and mentor emerging poultry farmers who will produce 50 percent of the required stock. “This partnership will provide an opportunity for our emerging farmers to have access to the markets and be able to participate meaningfully to the mainstream economy, thus growing and contributing towards the City’s GDP,” she said.
 
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,” she said.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by eThekwini Municipality Communications Unit. For Media enquiries contact Msawakhe Mayisela on 060 966 4220.