Poultry association urges for farmers unity

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Lineo Ramatlapeng

Basotho Poultry Farmers Association (BAPOFA) is urging poultry farmers to join the association in order to deal with common poultry industry challenges in unity.

The association, BAPOFA, was founded in 2004 with the aim to unite Basotho poultry farmers.

Puseletso Salae, an officer of the association told KDNews that owing to how disorganized Basotho poultry farmers were, they felt the need to start an association and tackle common market-related challenges in unity.

He says Basotho poultry farmers “were not properly organized and could not deliver when they had to supply well-known food stores with either chicken and or eggs. And retailers end up sourcing chicken and eggs from South African”.

Selae says the association’s membership fee is set at M3500 annually but many unstable business owners end up not renewing.

Salae adds despite association growth they face challenges that include not having full control of the poultry industry as the country still imports the bulk of its poultry products from South Africa.

“We get everything from South Africa and now with COVID-19 lockdown business is not easy for us,” he says.

Salae says the association represents the interests of all poultry farmers including non-members.

Salae emphasized that their vision is to see members able to supply big food retailers without challenges of being unable to meet the market demand.

With farmers now working together, Selae says there is no need for retailers to get source chicken and eggs from South Africa as the local producers meet the local demand.

Malesupi Moseli, a poultry farmer, says she started her poultry project in November 2019.

“I didn’t really like the idea of raising poultry. But my mother-in-law introduced me to poultry and I ended up loving it,” Moseli says.

She tells KDNews that she had already saved enough money to build a proper shelter for her chickens.

She says she started with 300 chickens but sadly many died and now is only left with 270 since last year.

“The mistake that I made was that I didn’t separate them on their arrival and that is how they died, they were suffocating,” she says.

She however says she believes being a member of an association would be helpful to assist her with knowledge about the business and to also reduce her number of losses incurred when chickens die.

She also says the profits from the poultry business are very good and she can now make ends meet from her business.

Moseli says her customers come small scale buyers but she aspires to grow big and be able to supply big retailers.

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