JOHANNEBSURG – South African poultry producers have invested more than half of the funds they committed as part of a so-called master plan to grow the industry as the government earlier this year raised tariffs to counter cheap imports.
Around 1 billion rand ($60.2 million) of the 1.7 billion rand pledged for expansion by 2022 has already been invested and 5% more chickens are being produced for slaughter each week, Izaak Breitenbach, a general manager of the South African Poultry Association, said Tuesday in an emailed statement.
South Africa’s government and industry representatives signed off on the strategy for the industry in November. At the time, companies committed to investing 1.5 billion rand in production facilities by the end of this year and a further 1.7 billion rand toward setting up 50 contract farming operations. Together, the investments should create as many as 4,600 jobs.
Poultry is the second-largest component of South Africa’s agriculture industry and employs about 110,000 people. The government in March increased import duties on frozen bone-in and boneless chicken pieces from all nations excluding the European Union and member states of the Southern African Development Community.