Government loans for small poultry farmers are available in South Africa. The department of Agriculture is willing to give government grants for small chicken houses – up to 3000 chickens. You will need a solid business plan and will probably need to be previously disadvantaged – which means if you are a black woman you will have the most chance of success. To borrow money for chicken farming you will need to approach your local government department of Agriculture.
Many government grants and government loans are given to groups of black woman living in rural areas. The loan scheme falls under the “food security” program. If you do opt for such an agricultural loan, as a group, you will really need to have a committed group. Many of these food programs fail because there is no one person driving the poultry project. The money is not spent on the good of the chicken project for the chicken house, but is rather spent on satisfying every member of the chicken farm.
Black rural woman, even if committed, often have difficulty in managing and running a poultry farm once the government loan has been given. The government, in all it’s wisdom, does not give training for chicken farming or poultry management. Running a poultry farm requires knowledge and experience – not just money. The group of chicken farmers will have deal with all aspects of poultry farming.
Finding customers is one of the more difficult aspects facing rural poultry farmers. The first market to look at is the local market. They will buy live chickens or broilers – but one at a time. If you have a poultry house with 500 chickens they will all need to be sold at the same time, otherwise you will quickly spend all your profit on chicken food and poultry mash. Look for spaza shops and local butchers and shops that will be willing to buy you chickens. If you can find a supermarket chain who is willing to buy all your chickens in one go this is the best.
Once you have the government loan for your chicken house you will need to find a good supplier of poultry equipment and someone to build you a chicken house. This is fairly easy, there are a number of chicken house builders and chicken equipment suppliers in South Africa. Before you borrow money for chicken farming make sure you know what you are doing – a poultry course or chicken farming course is a good thing to study.