South Africa (population +/-60 million) consumes on average 27 million chickens per week, supplied through either large-scale poultry production units, or imports. On a volume basis, poultry accounts for roughly two-thirds of all animal protein consumed in SA with this share of the overall animal protein market expected to continue growing year on year (South African Poultry Association). Emerging and small-scale farmers (e.g. small, medium and micro enterprises) account for the largest portion of labour (formal and informal), but the top 44 producers produce 70% of all poultry.
Sustainable animal protein production is vital to food security, job creation, land reform and rural development, especially in Africa where formal agriculture alone cannot meet the protein demands of both rural and urban societies. Two primary obstacles to sustainable animal protein production includes firstly knowledge of, and access to the appropriate technology, know-how and solutions for establishing and growing animal protein based farming; and secondly, considering the high-failure rate of small businesses, the absence of suitable and workable business models and practices for aiding emerging and non-farmers alike to enter and establish long-term financially viable and sustainable businesses in the agriculture sector.
Small-scale farming in a developing country context requires know-how and agriculture inputs beyond basic farming practices, and also extensive hand-holding and care related to business development, accounting, marketing produce, managing resources (land, labour, capital) etc.; in other words inputs towards the second obstacle facing small-scale farmers being lack of enterprise development and business incubation.
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