The Kgora Farmers Training Centre in Mahikeng has upped its poultry production capacity to 12 000 chicks a month thanks to a new hatching machine that has just arrived.
The North West department of agriculture and rural development announced the news last week, saying that the government-supported centre in the capital of North West just acquired the state-of-the-art device that acts as both a hatcher and a setter. It can hatch chickens, ducks, geese, quail, and pigeons.
“This is an upgrade as the hatchery that the centre was using before could only produce up to 2 000 chicks per week and could not meet the high demand of chickens meant for food security projects,” the department says in a statement.
Agri MEC Desbo Mohono had highlighted the need for broiler hatching at the centre in February already, when South Africa’s national agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza paid it a visit.
Now, the device will hopefully boost the supply of day-old broilers and aid the Kgora centre in its presentation of basic hatchery management training.
The course was added to the centre’s list of training programmes in 2021 and is aimed at both aspiring and experienced poultry farmers who want to improve their results. Enrolled farmers will learn the practical aspects of hatchery management, including the biology of fertile egg production and handling, the setter and hatcher environment, processing day-old chicks and hatchery biosecurity.
Mohono welcomes the new addition as a major improvement. “We welcome this development. It means that we will now be able to produce more broilers. This also means that we will now increase the number of beneficiaries [of the centre] because the chickens that we produce here are donated to farmers in the province for rearing. Others are donated to different applicable projects as part of departmental food security programmes.”
Well-known training facility
Kgora is a state-owned agricultural skills training centre based in Mahikeng and tasked with improving the skills of farmers at all levels.
It is accredited with AgriSETA as an education and training provider in the agriculture sector on animal and plant production.
Upon successful completion of any course at the facility, students are offered national certificates from NQF level 1 to 4.
Training activities range from excursions and demonstrations to refresher courses and credit-bearing unit standards to address knowledge and skills gaps amongst farmers. Fields include arable crop farming, livestock husbandry, agribusiness, and aquaculture. The centre also offers training on organisational, marketing, and financial management.
Due to limited capacity, acceptance of students happens on a first come, first served basis. Interested farmers are encouraged to enquire about course availability with their local agricultural offices.
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