Peddie Ostrich Farming Project

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Started by The Eastern Cape department of agriculture and agrarian reform.

Why was it started?
Empowerment of small scale ostrich farmers in the Peddie district.

How was it done?
A leading industry stakeholder was approached to assist with the project. Together with the ECDRDAR, a sustainable success can be developed in the Peddie Ostrich Project. The ostrich farms were initially distributed over 5 communities in the Peddie district. The 5 communities are Pikoli, Ndlambe/Ndwayana, Ntloko and Nobumba. Farmers farmed in their backyard with 50 birds, which were sold to two grow-out units in Pikoli and Ndlambe. During 2011 these farmers reared over 3 000 slaughter birds. Due to regulations on ostrich farming, export and mitigating disease risks, a new production model was developed.
A bio-secure ostrich unit was built to comply with VPN regulations. It also provided the farmers with a stable, secure unit and the advantage of an economy of scale production unit. Administration, technology transfer, feed logistics and mentorship were made available. These increased the productivity and efficiency of their farming enterprises. Farmers which had a proven track record of accountability and responsibility were provided with a purpose build chick house and camp within the new ostrich farming unit. Twenty farmers, of which more than 50% were women, were accommodated. During 2012 – 2013, the first unit in Pikoli received 3 000 chicks.

Social and Economic Implications
95% of the farmers made a healthy profit (averaging R40 000/ farmer). The total value of the ostriches came to R6,6m and the average return per farmer was 12%, with the best farmer’s return 22%.

The two farming units have proven that they contribute to the community’s social & economic development and food security. Through the months of production, the farmers have been able to secure a secure income. The profits can be used to improve lifestyle, pay school fees and support other entrepreneurial initiatives. The farming units created a number of jobs for community members. They also utilised community resources, e.g. donkey carts for food delivery. This helps in giving food security to those involved.

The farmers along with KKI provided vegetable and maize seed to over 100 fellow community members in the Pikoli and Ndlambe communities. The effects can be seen by the many vegetable gardens and small maize patches next to the river.

A food project for the elderly was just one of the social responsibility initiatives. These projects are supported by the ostrich farmers and the local chief.