From Extension Officer to Poultry Farmer with WPF Training
Thandiwe Ndlovu was one of numerous South African extension officers to receive training funded by the World Poultry Foundation at the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute last year. But it wasn’t her first time on that learner bench. Earlier in her career she also attended extension officer training at this gem of a poultry training facility.
Equipped with a Plant Production Diploma and B.Tech degree in Agricultural Management, she said, “I actually always wanted to have a poultry farm. The second round of KZN PI training gave me an extra push… Our class was perfect, with a wonderful facilitator and lots of young and energetic participants.”
Thandiwe recently leased a farm near her home in the picturesque town of Ixopo, famously described in the opening lines of Alan Paton’s Cry, The Beloved Country: “There is a lovely road which runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.”
In this stunning corner of KwaZulu-Natal she plans to start off raising 1000 layers and 500 broilers per cycle, initially for the live market, plus grow high-value organic vegetables and practice vermiculture. “The farm has eight poultry houses but they need upgrading. They haven’t housed birds for years.” Currently she has 15,000 heads of cabbage in the field and an off-take agreement with a supermarket for three hectares of baby spinach. “Demand is very high for fresh produce and freshly cut chicken,” she said. Thandiwe would eventually like to build a slaughterhouse and service her entire poultry-farming community, as “it’s a long way to the next abattoir.”
Thandiwe knows she needs a bankable business plan to raise funding for her poultry projects. And her day job keeps her more than busy imparting her many skills to her farming clients. But her head is abuzz with plans for seizing exciting new opportunities in South Africa’s agricultural sector.
We wish you good luck, Thandiwe!
Ms. Frances Chisholm
Friend & Supporter of the WPF
Learn More About Frances