Lack of jobs leads graduate to chicken farming
A young woman has not allowed her lack of access to land to stop her from pursuing her dream of being a poultry farmer.
Monkoane Phalane, 24, defied the odds to run her agribusiness from her grandmother's backyard in Hlohlokwa village in GaSekororo, near Hoedspruit, in Limpopo.
Phalane founded Phalmosh Poultry Farm two years ago, using her savings after working as computer lab assistant at the University of Limpopo.
She studied BA in criminology and psychology, and further obtained honours in criminology and criminal justice.
"I bought basic poultry equipment, feeders, drinkers, chicks, medication and feeds, then my grandmother provided a shelter for the chickens. And my community has been very supportive and some will buy in bulk during weddings or parties," she said.
Phalane's chicken house accommodates at least 300 broilers but she is determined to grow.
"I can't grow [my business] in my grandmother's house because there is no space. I have been looking for a piece of land and it is not easy to find one. I have employed one person who helps me with feeding and cleaning the chicken house," she said.
Phalane said lack of funding was another challenge affecting youth who seek to start or grow their businesses.
"I have discovered potential in farming and I want to grow vegetables as well. If I do that, I will be creating job opportunities for my people. I hope and pray that I get a piece of land to expand my business."
She said she decided to start her business after struggling to find a job.
"Every time I applied, they would ask about seven years or at least four years experience which I don't have. So, I opted for something that doesn't require any experience to start. And thank God, I was trusted with this project.
"The journey is not easy especially when it comes to start-up finances but it is worth it."
She added that sometimes she struggles for reliable transport to load chicken feed and other necessities.
"I rely on hiring bakkies when I need to go buy feed. On other days you find that the owner is doing other jobs and that affects my business."