Locals flourishing with poultry business in Ntabankulu in Eastern Cape

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Agriculture as a means of economic empowerment has proven to be very successful.

The villagers from Ncama near Ntabankulu in the Eastern Cape also has an agricultural success story to tell.

Two years ago, they ventured into the poultry business and their operation has become quite successful.

They move 2 000 eggs per day, taken up by the local retailers in Ntabankulu. The co-op also supplies local schools with fresh eggs.

Municipal funds have also been injected into the project. The Alfred Nzo District is one of the country’s most impoverished rural districts.

More than 80% of the Ntabankula population lives below the poverty line. But agriculture is proving to change the fortunes for many in the rural areas.

Villagers, like Masingatha Msuthu and Mandla Mhlutshwa are reaping the benefits.

“This is our hope, it is our way of fighting poverty, we get help from the local authorities, they always inject money for the feed and they also organise customers for us. They also gave us chicks so that the project is sustainable. We are grateful and we hope this will continue to grow.”

“We fight poverty, our children are no longer going to school on an empty stomach. The local municipality is helping us to make sure that the project is sustainable. Things are not the same as before, we know how to keep ourselves busy , we have a mission to achieve.”

Residents like Nomkhom Mamanci is very proud of the success of the project.

“We are very proud of this project. We are now feeding ourselves from the project, children go to school now, we support schools with eggs. We get money. But of course, we get support from the municipality for us to run the project. We want to see ourselves supplying all the big retail stores in the district.”

The Ntabankulu municipality’s aim is to invest in rural areas.

Mayor Tsileng Sobuthongo says money and other assistance will also be provided.

“We are also assisting the project with the access to the market so that they can sell their production to the nearest markets which is retail shops like Boxer and Shoprite which are the shops within our space. Community members are no longer buying eggs now, far away from their own community, we are dealing with the issue of food security.”

Other communities in this area are now calling for increased investment in agricultural ventures to alleviate the high unemployment rate they are saddled with.