Five young people from an Eastern Cape rural town are breeding success after putting their Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant to good use.
The cousins from Nobumba Village in Peddie used their monthly R350 SRD grant to start the Bayeni Poultry Cooperative, which sells broiler chickens to surrounding villages and the town of Makhanda.
Bayeni chairperson Phumlisa Ngabase (26) explains that when the cousins lost their jobs because of the COVID-19, they had to find a way to put food on the table in the long-term.
“Our vision was to get up and do something for ourselves,” Ngabase says.
Determined to change their fortunes, the cousins built a chicken house using mud bricks that they made.
They also received assistance from the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), which donated 10 bags of feed and 150 day-old chicks, a plucker machine and water tanks.
Apart from the donations, DRDAR also trained the youngsters.
"DRDAR officials gave us information packs about the different stages of growing chickens and the types of feed to use at each stage," Ngabase says.
Members of the cooperative also received information about registering a cooperative and applying for assistance from the department.
“We are constantly in touch with our extension officer for advice,” says Ngabase.
“The assistance we have received from the department has minimised our challenges, and we are starting to see profits.”
Ngabase says that they chose the agriculture sector because it offers endless opportunities for young people.
Eastern Cape MEC of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Nonkqubela Pieters says the Bayeni Poultry Cooperative has done commendable work.
“They have changed R350 monthly grants into an investment.”
MEC Pieter adds that the DRDAR recently donated 400 chicks and 15 bags of feed, 2 400 vegetable seedlings, 10 wheelbarrows, 20 bags of pig feed, garden tools and a plucker machine to 17 other youth projects in Peddie.
Emerging farmers wanting to receive similar assistance, should contact DRDAR’s extension services at 043 602 5006/7 or visit www.drdar.gov.za