A coronavirus relief fund is helping a pig farmer sustain her business.
Asmall-scale piggery has received support in the form of R50 000 from the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development.
Noxolo Dludlu (24), who owns the Zamukuthula Livestock and Agricultural Project in Ermelo, Mpumalanga, was able to buy 220 bags of feed for her 24 pigs with the money she received through the COVID-19 Agricultural Disaster Support Fund for Smallholder and Communal Farmers.
Dludlu says she will no longer have to sell her pigs to raise feed money. “With pig production, the biggest costs are their feed. Each pig needs one sack a month, which costs around R230. This means it costs around R6 000 a month to feed my pigs.”
The aspiring commercial farmer currently sells her pigs to a local abattoir and to community members. She currently has one full-time and one part-time employee and plans to grow her farm to include other livestock.
“My dream is twofold, the first is to become a major livestock commercial farmer that supplies the country with food. The other is to export meat to other countries,” she says.
She buys pigs that are weaned off their mother’s milk and resells them about five-and-a half-months later, once they are fully grown but before they start ‘eating my profits’.
Dludlu calls on young people to start their own businesses as jobs are hard to find. The lack of jobs will be worse as COVID-19 continues to hit hard, she says.
“I started the farming project after graduating from the University of KwaZulu-Natal with a Bachelor of Social Science degree. I wanted to do something that I have ownership of and which would create long-term stability.”
Some of Dludlu’s pigs are pregnant and she says that she is expecting her pig numbers to triple by the end of the year.