What has been described by some as a “groundbreaking” plan and a breakthrough in barriers to national economic progress is the poultry industry’s new master plan which is expected to come into effect immediately. The plan is aiming to revolutionise the agricultural industry of South Africa while strengthening the economy and creating jobs.
Some of the barriers to progress in the poultry industry of the agricultural sector have been characterised by unfair trade such as dumping [in economics, dumping refers to situations when manufacturers export a product to another country at a price below the normal price, harming the local industry of the country receiving the “dumped” goods] and the lack of port control and tax evasion.
“The poultry industry has been in decline for about 10 years, so we’ve shed profitability and jobs,” said general manager of the South African Poultry Association’s Broiler Organisation, Izaak Breitenbach.
“For the first time, we’ve now agreed with the ministers [of agriculture and trade and industry] on a way forward to revive the industry and put it on a growth path.”
Breitenbach explained that the plan would have two initial stages, starting with a sizeable investment in local production growth to meet local consumption demands. Thereafter, the export industry will be explored and revived.
“The first element of the plan is that we want to stimulate growth locally – the per capita consumption in South Africa will be supplied by local producers.
The second component is that we are gearing the whole industry for exports – we are targeting exports to the Southern African Development Community countries, the Southern African Customs Union countries, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement countries, Middle Eastern countries as well as the European Union, which will be a first for the [poultry] industry.”
Breitenbach added that the plan is an inclusive one, looking to stop all forms of unfair trade.
The poultry industry has pledged to invest R1.5 billion into the plan – which will be put to work immediately. The investment should be concluded by 2022, when the total capacity of the industry will be increased by 10%.
A total amount of 7400 jobs are expected to be created in the poultry industry alone by the year 2022, according to Breitenbach. 3700 of these will be jobs in the industry directly, while the other 3700 are expected to be created within the extended value chain.
“After 10 years of struggle, we’ve really turned and are going to create jobs for the country. The good part is that all the different stakeholders are working together,” said Breitenbach.
Breitenbach praised the ministers involved in facilitating the new master plan for their holistic and constructive approach.
WATCH BELOW A RELATED eNCA INTERVIEW WITH THE MINISTER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRADE, INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION, EBRAHIM PATEL: