Shot in the arm for poul­try farm­ers

Lesotho Times - - Business - Bereng Mpaki

BUTHA-BUTHE — The Butha-buthe branch of the Ba­sotho Poul­try Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (BAPOFA) re­ceived a grant of M473 500 from South African min­ing com­pany, Har­mony Gold Min­ing, to­wards the con­struc­tion of a chicken abat­toir.

The do­na­tion was handed over last Thurs- day in an event at­tended by Agri­cul­ture and Food Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter ‘Ma­palesa Mothokho, Har­mony Gold Min­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive Le­bo­hang Shabe and of­fi­cials from the Minework­ers De­vel­op­ment Agency (MDA) among oth­ers.

The MDA is an agency that as­sists for­mer mine work­ers and their com­mu­ni­ties in south­ern Africa. It was in­stru­men­tal in de­vel- op­ing the suc­cess­ful pro­posal to the donor.

The MDA will also be re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing the sus­tain­able im­ple­men­ta­tion of the abat­toir pro­ject which is es­ti­mated to have a ca­pac­ity to process 2 000 birds per day.

The abat­toir equip­ment was also se­cured with sup­port from the Small­holder Agri­cul­tural De­vel­op­ment Pro­ject run through the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Food Se­cu­rity.

In his ad­dress, BAPOFA Pres­i­dent Daniel Khorong said the grant would help in­crease chicken pro­duc­tion in the coun­try. He said the fund­ing would ad­dress one of the key gaps in the do­mes­tic chicken value chain with the es­tab­lish­ment of the abat­toir.

“The as­so­ci­a­tion re­cently trained over 300 poul­try farm­ers, al­though one of the ma­jor chal­lenges we still face is the need to im­port many in­puts for chicken pro­duc­tion from South Africa,” said Mr Khorong.

“This leads to high costs of pro­duc­tion and prices do­mes­tic chicken out of the mar­ket.”

He said due to lack of do­mes­tic hatch­ery ser­vices, poul­try farm­ers have to im­port fer­tilised eggs from South Africa which are neg­a­tively af­fected by trav­el­ling the long dis­tance.

“It re­sults in com­pro­mised hatch­a­bil­ity of the eggs and de­formed chicks that need more re­sources to fully grow,” Mr Khorong said.

“It is a dis­grace that we are un­able to pro­duce our own food like other African states and have to de­pend on South Africa.”

BAPOFA’S Butha-buthe district chair­per­son, Pereko Lentsoenyane, said the abat­toir would con­form to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards to en­sure that the chick­ens could ac­cess the for­mal mar­ket.

“Mak­ing in­roads into the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket was a chal­lenge be­fore this new abat­toir,” he said.

On his part, Mr Shabe said the ges­ture was part of Har­mony Gold Min­ing’s so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­gramme to em­power labour send­ing com­mu­ni­ties, adding that the mine was es­pe­cially im­pressed by the ini­tia­tive shown by the farm­ers in set­ting up the abat­toir pro­ject.

“The farm­ers con­trib­uted the funds nec­es­sary to se­cure the plot of land on which the abat­toir will be erected,” he said.

“They also con­trib­uted funds to­wards the con­struc­tion of a build­ing which has been com­pleted al­though it will not be the used as the slaugh­ter house as it lacks cer­tain spec­i­fi­ca­tions.”

Mr Shabe added: “When a per­son shows ini­tia­tive, it be­comes eas­ier for you to sup­port them.

“The suc­cess of the abat­toir pro­ject will de­pend on the farm­ers’ de­ter­mi­na­tion to stick to­gether in fac­ing the chal­lenges that will come their way.”

Har­mony's Le­bo­hang shabe (left) hands over the cheque to Ba­hofa rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.