City of Joburg opens abattoir for small-medium scale poultry farmers in Eikenhof

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Small to medium-scale poultry farmers in Johannesburg have been given a boost to their operations. The City of Johannesburg has opened an abattoir in Eikenhof, south of Johannesburg.

To support emerging farmers to create sustainable income through agro-processing and to expand their poultry production.

Farmers will be able to sell and supply produce to their immediate communities such as shop keepers, spaza shops and local hawkers.

Bhekifa Matshenja has been farming with chickens for the past eight years. He says it’s a cost-intensive business for small and medium farmers who don’t have access to cheaper, transporting, slaughtering and packaging facilities.

“Transporting the birds would be a major issue as you would know some of us are still starting, you have to hire a bakkie, we don’t have live crates which we have to hire. You need additional manpower to offload and all of that not forgetting the slaughter fee it would be a lot of money to be spent,” says Matshenja.

It costs between R8 and R10 per chicken to slaughter at a commercial facility. Using the newly built facility has reduced their costs to almost half.

“Through this abattoir which is not too far from where we grow our chicken, it makes it easier for us logistics wise and we have already trimmed down on that,” says Matshenja.

City of Johannesburg opens a poultry abattoir in Eikenhof:

1 000 chickens per day 

The abattoir currently has a capacity of slaughtering 1 000 chickens per day but the farmers have to ensure the birds are well fed and weigh between 1,8kg to 1,9kg when they reach between 38 to 42 days.

They also need to ensure they have staff to help them cut and package the chicken. As well as the cost of a health inspector to certify the quality of the product. These farmers say the savings they have made have helped increase their profits and create jobs.

“Customers have different requirements some want it cut, others whole, etc so we are able to meet the customer demands quicker because now we don’t have to go outside to pay other abattoir fees. We would like the facility extended so that it can accommodate further processing such as making viennas and patties,” says Thandile Gagela, a poultry farmer.

The City says at the moment 8 co-operatives are utilising the services.

“We currently have about 15 poultry farmers on various levels, others have not started production, so far eight are in production and have layer and broiler production and this will assist them in ensuring they slaughter here. Capacity is 1000 but if we double we can do 2 000,” says City Of Joburg’s Food And Value Chain Simon Motsusi.

While in high demand, live or slaughtered chickens are big business but the high input costs and narrow returns are constant challenges emerging farmers face.

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