Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

As an egg farmer, I applaud the SA Poultry Association (Sapa) for its antidumping duty application, which hopes to stop unfair competition from the EU and Brazil that stops chicken farmers from growing our businesses (“Poultry producers want anti-dumping duties to target Brazil and four EU states,” February 22).

This is the biggest agricultural industry and between eggs and broilers we produce the most affordable proteins available to SA families. Dumping has been a problem for longer than I have been in business, and when I hear how foreign producers get government subsidies, my heart bleeds for our own farmers. We get no such help, but we have to compete for shelf space with chicken dumped here at subsidised prices.

So bring on those duties, to strengthen our own businesses, build up our own poultry industry and create a transformed environment for more people to enter farming and experience success. All South Africans, including retail chains such as Pick n Pay and Spar, should buy local chicken.

I have 7,000 laying hens and employ six people. I supply Pick n Pay, but the demand is bigger than my current capacity. I have solid plans to scale up to 100,000 hens or more, and a financing application in process at the Land Bank. I dream of being an employer for young women, and if my plans work out I will be able to employ 30-50 people and support others to create their own businesses selling my eggs.

This is what the poultry industry can be: farmers feeding our people, creating jobs and building legacies for our families. Dumping stands in the way and has to be stopped. Thank you Sapa for acting on the behalf of all poultry farmers — I pray that trade, industry and competition minister Ebrahim Patel will support the application.

Beverly Mhlabane
Zapa Holdings, Ekurhuleni

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