There are many opportunities in the poultry sector, and now is the time for the youth to take advantage of them. This was highlighted during the Poultry Sector Masterclass webinar held recently.
The webinar is a part of a series of webinars hosted by the Government Communication and Information System on the poultry session. Panelists included Dr. Nkhanedzani Nengovhela, who is a Scientific Manager in Animal Production from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
Dr. Nengovhela said that the youth must take advantage of a sector that is very promising. “There is a lot of room for South Africa to produce poultry products, As we have not been exporting chicken products much,” he said. “There is still a lot of space for us to grow the industry and create opportunities for youth to be able to access all these markets within the sector.
“The poultry industry is one of the most advanced sectors in terms of farming livestock. “It ranges from providing day-old chicks that are bred for meat, or layers that are bred to be able to lay eggs.
“We have highly bred strains of chicken that we use in the industry, and we have also made a lot of advances in how they are housed and fed in order for these products to give the best performance in the breeding process,” he also said.
Dr. Nengovhela strongly encouraged the youth to consider careers in poultry farming. “Poultry is one of the industries in South Africa that are covered by a lot of technological advances,” he said. “The biological elements are just as advanced as the non-biological elements.
“This is an interesting space which I think the youth can participate in all levels, from primary, secondary and tertiary.
“Most of them require advanced knowledge but the technology is user-friendly,” he also said. Dr. Nengovhela also encouraged the youth to consider collaborating and opening abbatoirs for chickens and breeding other chickens besides broilers.
“The industry has chicks that are bred to be killed and eaten, and there are also those that are there to be raised as parent stock called multiplier chickens, and these supply broiler and laying lines,” he said. “We need more younger people to get into hatchery and multiplier chicken production.
“The youth should also consider small-holder abbatoirs.”
Dr. Nengovhela advised those wishing to go into poultry farming to alert the Agricultural Department officials in their area in order to open themselves up for funding opportunities.
“We encourage farmers to make sure, if you’re farming from a specific area, that agricultural officers know that you are farming in that because they present funding opportunities to the department according to the farmers they know to operate in that area,” he said.