Mok­wele rais­ing the bar in chicken farm­ing

Vuk'uzenzele - - Rural Development - More Mat­shediso

Los­ing a par­ent through death is dev­as­tat­ing and can be the be­gin­ning of dif­fi­cult times for many young peo­ple, but for Tha­bang Mok­wele it meant hav­ing to work harder in or­der to sur­vive.

As a child who grew up in a fam­ily farm near Ven­ters­dorp in the North West prov­ince, Mok­wele had to take over the reins when his fa­ther passed on in 2009. He was only 22 years old.

“I had to drop out of an In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy course in or­der to sus­tain the farm af­ter my fa­ther’s burial. I could not let the farm die on my watch,” he said.

He is pas­sion­ate about farm­ing be­cause it has been the main source of in­come for his fam­ily all his life.

Five years later when the fam­ily farm was sta­ble he went on to start his own farm Thaba-Kwena Projects PTY (LTD) in Licht­en­burg. Re­cently he was crowned the over­all win­ner for the 2018 Young Farmer of the year award in the North West prov­ince.

Mok­wele (31) also won the award for Best Youth Com­mer­cial En­ter­prise.

“I want to thank the de­part­ment and all the peo­ple who sup­ported me to start my busi­ness. I am where I am to­day be­cause of them.” said Mok­wele.

His farm spe­cialises in broiler pro­duc­tion and he started it with an in­vest­ment of only about R40 000.

Broiler pro­duc­tion is the breed­ing of chick­ens for meat pro­duc­tion.

Back in 2014, he started with only 45 000 chick­ens per cy­cle but to date the farm has ten broiler houses with a ca­pac­ity of 15 000 chick­ens each pro­duc­ing at least 150 000 birds per cy­cle. The cy­cle runs for about 35 days.

He has been able to cre­ate 12 per­ma­nent jobs and em­ploys 16 ca­sual work­ers.

Mok­wele sup­plies Kroon's Gourmet Chick­ens with stock through a con­tract with the com­pany.

The farm re­ceived fi­nan­cial sup­port of nearly R1 mil­lion from the de­part­ment to help pay for elec­tric­ity and pur­chase of feed.

He en­cour­ages other young South Africans to look at farm­ing as a busi­ness that can yield many fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits.

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