South Africa’s first departmental-owned chicken abattoir has been completed in the North West. This news was welcomed by the MEC of agriculture and rural development in the province, Desbo Mohono.
The facility is situated at Kgora Farmers’ Training Centre near Mahikeng and is the first completed project among many others at Kgora.
The abattoir has the capacity to slaughter up to 500 birds per day, and operates under the watchful eye of an independent meat inspector as this is required by law. According to Mohono, it is also fully compliant and registered as a low-throughput abattoir.
“The facility is already benefiting the local farmers [of whom the] majority are newcomers to the poultry industry. These are mainly farmers with limited resources who cannot afford private abattoir services,” she adds.
One of the farmers is Sipho Khoza from Bodibe village outside Mahikeng. Khoza runs a poultry business and has employed 17 temporary workers thus far.
He has used the facility to slaughter his chickens and is satisfied with the quality of service he has received.
“I brought to the facility 200 chickens from my farm for slaughtering at this abattoir and after the service all I can say is that I was happy. All of the chickens were sold to one of the local shops on the same day. I will definitely call again,” Khoza says.
Another farmer, Keatlaretse Mosiane from Ramatlabama, praises the department for building a slaughterhouse that accommodates them as emerging poultry farmers.
“It was thoughtful of government to build such an infrastructure to promote us emerging farmers,” Mosiane says.
She adds that at some stage she wanted to use one of the privately owned abattoirs to slaughter her chickens, but was not successful in doing so. She was told that the abattoir can only slaughter a minimum of 1000 chickens, and at the time, she had only 200.
“We are grateful for this facility and what the department has done for us as emerging farmers,” says Mosiane, who is the founder and owner of Keatlaretse Tumediso Farming.
A training facility
The abattoir is also used to train university students. Recently, the International Meat Quality Assurance Services (IMQAS) trained a group of over 50 third-year animal health students from North West University at the facility. Other universities may also bring their students to the facility for training.
“Among the department’s goals with the establishment of facilities of this kind, is to give local food producers a platform to grow their businesses, the local economy and to create job opportunities.
“We have a meat inspector at the abattoir so we can confidently say to the farmers who are bringing in their chickens for slaughter that we are slaughtering under proper hygienic conditions,” Mohono says.
For training offered at the Kgora Farmers’ Training Centre and all other requirements to utilise this departmental owned facility, farmers are encouraged to enquire with state extension officers or with their local agricultural area offices.