Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

SA poultry producers have invested more than half the funds they committed as part of a master plan to grow the industry as the government raised tariffs to counter cheap imports earlier this year.

About R1bn of the R1.7bn pledged for expansion by 2022 has already been invested and 5% more chickens are being produced for slaughter each week, Izaak Breitenbach, a GM of the SA Poultry Association, said on Tuesday.

Government and industry representatives signed off on the strategy for the industry in November 2019. At the time, companies committed to investing R1.5bn in production facilities by the end of 2020 and a further R1.7bn towards setting up 50 contract farming operations. Together, the investments should create as many as 4,600 jobs.

Poultry is the second-largest component of SA’s agriculture industry and employs about 110,000 people. In March, the government increased import duties on frozen bone-in and boneless chicken pieces from all nations excluding the EU and member states of the Southern African Development Community.

Bloomberg

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