Delivering the keynote address, Minister Didiza said the re-opening of the Hammarsdale plant illustrated the success of several aspects of the master plan, including investment, job creation, poultry exports and the establishment of black contract growers.
Poultry was the single biggest industry in the livestock sub-sector worth R54 billion last year.
“The sector employs more than 100 000 persons. The industry’s value has been growing at an average of 5.3% per annum since the industry and government signed the Poultry Master Plan in 2019.
“The interventions committed under the Poultry Master Plan are yielding positive outcomes. Domestic producers like RCL Foods and others have heeded the call to increase local production and create jobs,” she said.
South Africa’s trade policy – with the introduction of anti-dumping duties, increasing bound tariffs, and other safeguard measures – had given the industry much-needed support and protection against unfair competition.
Between 2019 and last year, domestic production for chicken meat had increased from 1.7 million tons to 1.84 million tons per year, outpacing local consumption which decelerated by 7% during this period.
The poultry sector had benefited from the blended finance scheme to provide affordable finance to farmers. The agriculture department also aimed to reduce the cost of poultry feed by working with grain and oilseeds producers to increase local production, the minister said.