KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute (South Africa) goes on-line
This story is one in a series from Frances Chisholm highlighting stories of lives impacted by World Poultry Foundation programs and workshops both in the U.S. and abroad. We encourage you to learn more about Ms. Chisholm and our poultry projects in South Africa.
“It helped me a lot,” said aspiring commercial poultry farmer, Rachel Makwala, about the Profitable Broiler Production course offered by the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute (KZN PI) in South Africa. She
and 26 other poultry farmers participated in the World Poultry Foundation-funded course in May after its format shifted on short notice from classroom to on-line during South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown. The mix of modules, quizzes, and very quick and individualized feedback suited Rachel well. “Every section was useful, fun, exciting, challenging. It was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it.” As a new farmer, she found the broiler house design section and “managing finances” especially useful.
Another participant, Jabulani Motshwene, runs a broiler farm with six 1000-chicken houses on 40 to 42-day cycles. He found the distance course “all relevant, on-point.” “And the facilitators were awesome,” he exclaimed. The disease module was most useful for him. “I have very low mortality rate and took the vaccination program for granted, but I realize now it’s deadly serious,” he said. He plans to start regular visits by a veterinarian to his farm. “I also need to focus more on record-keeping,” he realized.
Jabulani began his poultry business by raising 50-100 broilers for the live market at his home in the high- density township of Soweto outside of Johannesburg. He caught the poultry bug and made the move to
the countryside where he could expand and include more family members in his operation. “It’s my calling to raise chickens,” he beamed. Like Rachel, he praised KZN PI for the quick marking of the quizzes and helpful feedback. He also found value in attending the optional group video conferences once or twice a week and getting to know fellow broiler farmers.
Jabulani is grateful to the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) for putting his name forward for the course, “they have been amazingly supportive.” He also expressed deep appreciation to KZN PI and the World Poultry Foundation for staying the course and supporting distance learning in these challenging times.
Good luck to you both, Rachel and Jabulani, in applying everything you’ve learned on your farms!
Ms. Frances Chisholm
Friend & Supporter of the WPF
Learn More About Frances