ETHEKWINI mayor Zandile Gumede celebrates with proud graduates who received certificates during a ceremony at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.
DURBAN - EThekwini Municipality has invested R10million on capital infrastructure projects that support local farmers in the city.

This was revealed at a recent graduation ceremony for small-scale poultry farmers held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC).

About 22 farmers were provided with training on financial management, marketing, poultry processing and the funding models available.

The skills transfer forms part of the municipality’s poultry development and supply value chain programme, which includes the overhaul and development of the Cato Ridge chicken farm, the lucrative signing of a major retailer to source chickens reared by small-scale farmers and the establishment of a production facility in Verulam to produce 80000 eggs daily.

eThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede said: “The skills received by farmers will not only contribute immensely to the economy of our city, but will also create job opportunities, ensure food security and eradicate poverty.”

She said that according to the SA Poultry Association, KwaZulu-Natal was the fifth biggest producer of poultry in the country, which presented a good opportunity for the region to grow, especially after the city secured the Cato Ridge chicken farm last year.

The farm will be used as an anchor site, supported by satellite poultry hubs in the various regions of the city, and will be fully kitted with quarantine stations, rearing farms, breeder farms, hatcheries, grower farms and processing facilities for poultry production.

The plan also includes facilitating supply contracts with retailers, chicken restaurants and outlets to be supplied free-range and broiler chicken and egg products. She said negotiations were at an advanced stage with commercial partners that would help with operations at the Cato Ridge Chicken Farm.

An excited graduate, Patience Shata from KwaMashu, said: “The training has helped me to get a better understanding of the business and finance side of things. I have also networked with other people in the programme and we can form our own co-operative and produce quality chickens,” she said.

THE MERCURY