By: Sizakele nduli
Ntsako Shipalana is not just a thriving chicken farmer, but she is also dedicated to making an impact in the poultry industry by providing training. Shipalana, who founded Olori Chickens in Tzaneen in Limpopo in 2017, actively shares her knowledge and skills with aspiring farmers. Her dedication to farming extends beyond her own business. Shipalana is committed to supporting entrepreneurs who want to start sustainable farming careers. By sharing her knowledge and experience, she ensures that these individuals have the necessary information to lay a strong foundation for their agricultural ventures.
Shipalana holds one-on-one sessions, seminars and broiler manuals, which contain information on the equipment, housing, space and feed that farmers will need. “I love to transfer my knowledge to others hence I also sell manuals, and do mentorship and one-on-one sessions. We have produced a number of national feeders across the country,” she said. Shipalana told Vutivi News that she grew up in a family that encouraged farming. Her first encounter with chickens was through her father’s egg layers. “My interest in farming started there, and that’s how Olori Chickens came about.”
After a year in the business, the National Youth Development Agency provided a financial boost to her venture. Initially, Shipalana focused on raising chickens and selling eggs, but she eventually expanded her business to offering ready-to-cook chickens. “Our main customers are households and middlemen. Many people don’t want to do the dirty work, so we do it for them. Convenience is key,” Ntsako added. Currently, the business employs two full-time and two casual workers. She also employs youngsters where needed as part of her mission to empower the youth.
And while Shipalana admits that she has not reached her desired outcomes yet, she is aware of how she, directly and indirectly, contributes to job creation opportunities in her community. As aspiring farmers establish their businesses and expand, they will in turn hire more people to support their growing operations. “Success isn’t a good picture, a fine suit, nor does it come overnight. Success is being able to empower others and being able to stick it out for the sake of keeping others hopeful.”