timely help for poultry farmers

LIMPOPO poultry farmers want to play a key role in the governments' effort to eradicate poverty in rural areas.

Yesterday small farmers received training at Meadow Feeds in Pietermaritzburg with the help of the Limpopo department of agriculture.

The farmers were taught how to raise chickens in a way that will help generate more income for their businesses.

The delegations of farmers were accompanied to Meadow Feeds, a company that manufactures chicken feeds, by officials, scientists and technicians from the department of agriculture.

They spent a day familiarising themselves with the operations of the company.

The farmers committed themselves to finding ways of improving the farming methods through workshops.

Department manager Belemu Mkhetheni said poultry farmers from Limpopo were taken to the company for exposure.

He said the farmers had informed the department of the challenges they faced in their projects.

"We as department understand that the projects also contribute to efforts to fight poverty among rural communities," Mkhetheni said.

"So we thought we would help the small farmers by bringing them down to KwaZulu-Natal and putting them in touch with the chicken feed manufacturer."

Mkhetheni said the department had encouraged small farmers to form cooperatives so that they could access funds.

"Our vision is to see the small farmers become commercial farmers one day," he said.

"And we want to ensure they are able to sustain their projects." .

Johannah Hlungwani said they were pleased by the department's decision to help them to get exposure.

She said the farmers faced huge challenges, especially in feeding their chickens.

"What the department has done to bring us to KwaZulu-Natal will also empower our business," Hlungwani said.

"We are hoping that the skills we have received will also assist us in growing the business and helping our communities to fight poverty."

Hlungwani has employs 11 people on her poultry project and hopes to create more job opportunities for her community in Roherdam village.

The delegation will spend three days in the province. They will also visit the Agricultural Showgrounds and a poultry training institute.