Where can I get training on poultry farming and the agriculture sector?
For training in poultry production, chickens, ducks, turkeys contact the South African Poultry Association. If you need training in the area of poultry farming contact the South African Poultry Association who offer courses throughout the year.
Agricultural Research Council
- Agricultural Research Council – For training in poultry production, chickens, ducks, turkeys: Agricultural Research Council (ARC) offers a number of courses which include: Poultry production. Contact them here.
- Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (Livestock) Programme – Is a research, training and small business programme that addresses the basic issues underlying emerging farming systems and SMME Development in product processing and marketing. They provide guidance in areas small-scale poultry producers. Contact them here.
What regulations do I need to comply with as a poultry farmer?
A start-up must comply with health regulations but does not require a permit or licence to start a poultry production business. These differ from area to area, check regulations in with the local authority or associations in your area.
1. Abattoirs for broilers
As the establishment of an abattoir is an expensive and complicated to install. It is best for new members to market and sell their broiler chickens live. Click here to learn more.
2. Transport regulations apply
If you wish to transport slaughtered poultry. You must obtain and study the Meat Safety Act No 40 of 2000 for all the rules. All other regulations including these will be found under the General Regulation of the Public Health Act, 1919. Click here to learn more.
3. Animal welfare is extremely important
It is essential to ensure that birds are well tended to, that cages are not overloaded and high health standards are maintained. A shower and a disinfectant foot bath are a must before anyone is allowed to enter a broiler house.
4. Halaal and Kosher Certification
To obtain certification to sell Halaal and Kosher poultry products, your business has to have official certification from the Beth Din (Kosher) and the South African National Halaal Association to produce and sell products for Kosher and Halaal use. Businesses that produce for these religious entities are evaluated and inspected and impromptu audits take place regularly.
Only four kinds of poultry have been found to be profitable; chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.
Ducks and geese have a further advantage as their feathers have always been an important by-product of the industry; this additional revenue stream and can mean the difference between success and failure.
What about ducks?
Down was a by-product of birds slaughtered for their meat. This isn’t the case any more as ducks and geese are reared for their down, which can fetch R1 000 a kilogram. Irrespective of species, quality can vary according to the season the birds are plucked, their age, the temperatures they are kept at, as well as their living conditions.
To run a successful duck farm a combination of good nutrition and proper management are essential for raising healthy ducks.
Funding your Chicken Production business
You will need start-up capital to get your chicken farm going. There are various ways that you can acquire funding for your business.
1. Bootstrapping your business
The majority of start-ups are started without capital injection from venture capitalists and angel investors. If you are serious about turning your idea into a reality you are going to have to dip into your own pockets and bootstrap your way to the top.
It isn’t easy, but it can be very rewarding – both personally and financially, as you retain 100 percent of your equity.
2. Government funding and grants
There are numerous government funding and grants available, however you must match the criteria in order to qualify.
This comprehensive guide to Government Funding and Grants for Small Businesses gives you an indepth overview of the programmes available.
Chicken Production Handbook
Chicken Production Handbook Book’ (Afrikaans) is a practical handbook packed with valuable advice on how to start your chicken production venture in South Africa. To buy a copy of ‘Hoenderproduksie-Braaikuikens’ The publisher of the book and DVD, Johan Olivier (Kejafa Knowledge Works).
Now that you know the ins and outs of starting a chicken production your next step is to create a business plan.
Here is a Free Farming Sample Business Plan to get you going.
Want To Start A Property Business That Buys Property And Rents It Out?
Information on starting a property renting business.
Start your property rental business using this guide
I would like to start a property business where I purchase the properties and I rent it out, I already have a paid up property that I am renting out but my taxes are too high on the rental income so I am considering starting up a business. Could you advise me on where I can get more information on the requirements to start this and provide some guidance on whether it would be wise to pursue this business?
Before starting any business, it’s important that you’re absolutely clear about why you’re doing it – and that it’s going to be something that excites you, drives you and challenges you in the long-term.
If you’re only considering starting a property investment and management company to try and reduce your taxable income, then I don’t believe this is an appropriate – or a sustainable – solution.
You should rather consult a reputable financial adviser about other investment options that would better suit your personal needs.
If owning and managing properties is, however, an opportunity you would like to pursue, I would then recommend that you start off by equipping yourself with a proper understanding of what it actually means to be a landlord.
This will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not you want to start this (ad)venture as an entrepreneur. At a very basic level, here are some of the things you might want to consider to determine if this is the right business for you:
You need to consider the initial cost that you will be incurring when setting up the business, especially since you have a property in your personal capacity.
You will need to transfer the property from your personal capacity into your business and pay transfer fees and transfer costs.
These costs will be calculated based on the current value of the property.
The work and planning
No matter whether you’re a residential or commercial landlord, property management requires a great deal of work and planning. Remember you will be responsible for all aspects of the property: From purchasing it to maintaining it on a day-to-day basis.
Related: Real Estate Business Plan Sample
This involves everything from transfer to managing the monthly utility bills, all the way through to replacing the geyser when it bursts and ensuring your tenants behave appropriately in the building. You would also need to source your tenants and ensure that they pay you on time.
All by yourself
From a start-up perspective, you would probably need to do all of this yourself in the beginning. As such, you would need to work to build up your own database of reputable suppliers: Plumbers, electricians and handymen.
It’s important that you find experienced, qualified suppliers that you can trust, and who will be able to deliver on time and cost-effectively.
This can be a very time consuming process. Also consider that you would need to be on hand to facilitate all of this work: Arranging the call-out with the supplier and the tenant; overseeing the work delivered; paying the supplier etc.
Business owner development
Above and beyond that, you’re then going to need to develop yourself as a business owner. You will need to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge required to lead and manage this business in order to make it both sustainable and profitable.
This will require a significant investment from you: Time, effort and money. The more you commit to this journey of personal and professional development, the better your chances of success.
If you can picture yourself doing – and enjoying – all of the above, it’s then equally important to consider if this is a viable opportunity.
The greatest barrier to entry in this sector for you as an entrepreneur is probably going to be finance.
You need to be conscious of this from the outset.
- Do you already have access to the funds you need to purchase the properties you are going to rent out?
- If not, what are your plans to secure this funding? And what are the returns you are expecting?
- Also consider the funding of the business itself. How will you finance this, especially during the first year?
My recommendation here is to take the time to do your homework – and the maths. While this could be a business opportunity, it might not be something that will be possible for you to do on your own.
If you have a feasible plan regarding the above, you then need to start working on developing a model for this business – as well as a strategy and plan. All of these will require research on your behalf: From reading Entrepreneur to accessing websites, possibly visiting walk-in centres etc.
This will include unpacking the actual opportunity itself – and determining if there really is a demand for your service offering.
Please note that the above are thinking or “trigger-points” – listed simply to give you an idea of some of the things you need to consider, as well as the mindset you will potentially need to adopt as an entrepreneur. Your response to them should give you a good sense of if this is the path you wish to walk.
Remember that entrepreneurship is a journey – and every day on this road is a learning opportunity. If it is for you, embrace it whole-heartedly, don’t be afraid of failure and be sure to seek out the assistance available to you.
How To Start A Farming Business
Keep these nine points in mind when launching your new farming business.
Contents in this guide
- Business Planning
- Equipment and livestock
- Market Positioning
- Types of Farming
- Planning Stages
1. Business Planning
It would be wise to create a business plan for any new venture. There are a few points to keep in mind when planning the business.
Resource: Free Business Plan Template Download
The location of your farm will have to suit the type of product you wish to produce. The choice is usually determined by space limitations, and the type of farming you wish to undertake.
For example, if you are going to sell Free Range poultry you would have to have enough space for the chickens to roam freely.
On the other hand chickens that are kept indoors are typically housed in rows of cages, called batteries, and this system requires a great deal of equipment and capital outlay.
If you are planning to produce maize you will have to consider the requirements for that product such as location and climate.
3. Equipment and live stock
Capital is required to buy livestock, equipment and land. Funds have to be budgeted for to cover buying or leasing of land on which to house the farm in a suitable area. The Department of Agriculture’s Mafisa scheme has been launched to fund smaller emerging farmers.
Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (Livestock) Programme is a research, training and small business programme that addresses the basic issues underlying emerging farming systems and SMME Development in product processing and marketing.
Jarrod’s forever hustling. He made his first sale when he was six years old. He sold his skateboard for more than we had bought it for. But, he’s a wise spender, even from a young age. He turns over his coins several times before buying anything.
They provide guidance in areas such as milk products for small-scale farmers, fruit and vegetable industry by-products as feed; goat leather production; feasibility studies and business plans for rural entrepreneurs.
5. Market Positioning
Market positioning is very important and you must consider carefully if:
- The idea practical, and will it fill a need?
- What is the competition?
- What is your business’s advantage over existing poultry farmers?
- Will you deliver a better quality service?
- Can you create a demand for your product?
You need to have financial strength to support your routine production cycle. There are different ways to go about it. The Land Bank supports resource-poor farmers to become active participants in mainstream commercial agriculture through Agricultural entrepreneurship.
The Bank offers unsecured loans of up to R25 000. These are usually offered to small-scale farmers.
However, it is imperative for the loans must be used for agricultural purposes only.
Related: How to Write a Funding Proposal
The Land Bank offers short, medium and long term loans as well as Instalment Sale Finance which is a type of medium-term loan where the goods that you buy act as the main security for the loan: the goods belong to the Bank until the loan is paid in full. It enables all farmers, especially those with limited assets to grow their businesses.
- Farming equipment
This finance package is available for periods between 3 and 10 years, depending on the expected length of life of the asset. Payments can be made on a monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or annual basis. An individual farmer or a group or any legal entity may access this type of loan.
Funding for farms outside South Africa’s borders
Approach Alliance for a Green Revolution for Africa (AGRA). If they cannot help, they may well be able to guide you to an organisation that can.
AGRA’s programmes and partnerships work to make changes across various agricultural systems. Integrated programs in seeds, soils, market access, policy and partnerships, and innovative finance help to transform various subsistence agri-businesses into sustainable, viable commercial activities.
One example is found in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, where 700 000 smallholder farmers produced a record maize harvest in 2009, helping to feed drought-stricken regions of the country.
7. Types of Farms
Small Scale Farming
What kinds of farming are suitable for a 21-hectare plot? Should I farm with cows or grow crops? Small-scale farming can provide a good living
Smaller farms are easier to manage. You need a genuine interest in farming if you want to be successful. A farmer is a businessman first and a farmer second. You should have an entrepreneurial flair, be quality-conscious and self-motivated.
A. Dairy farming
To be a successful dairy farmer one has to have a love of cattle and experience in this field.
A person who wants to become a dairy farmer should spend time working on a dairy farm before striking out on their own. It is important to have an understanding of animal anatomy, cattle health, and milk production.
If you have no experience, take classes in livestock production and business management to help develop the skills needed to run a successful dairy farm. These include:
- Animal handling
- Practical skills such as the ability to do fencing and use mechanical tools
- Mathematical and business skills
- Communication and organisational skills
Dairy farming is a lifestyle
You have to work long hours every day of the year, and rise early to milk and feed the cows. You have to be detail orientated. Farmers must keep careful records on each cow so they can measure the cost of keeping it against the income produced.
To run a small community farm with 10 head of dairy cows where crops are also grown and sold, you need skills in both disciplines. These include being able to work independently, understand soils, crops and dairy production as well as the ability to observe herd health and behaviour
These are a few of the responsibilities you have to think about:
- Manage pasture, stock and stock breeding programmes
- Hire, organise and supervise farm staff
- Buy feed, machinery and other farm materials
- Attend stock sales to buy and sell stock
- Dip cattle to ensure good health and remove parasites
- Wean calves
- Manage and prepare stock for slaughter
- Control pests and weeds
- Maintain farm buildings, yards and fences
You can make money by selling products produced at the farm to big dairy companies, or sell your own products if you can afford the processing equipment.
In South Africa, only about 12% of the country can be used for crop production. High-potential arable land comprises only 22% of total arable land.
Therefore you need to find out what crops would be suitable for the farm you have. This depends on soil type, water supply and a host of other considerations. Contact the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for more information.
Before you go ahead and start farming check details of any legislation and regulations governing the industry, product and production processes.
Consult with the local municipal authorities to ensure that the land is zoned for farming and that there are no by laws that could affect the farm negatively.
Register the business with SARS so that you are compliant with tax and labour legislation.
8. Planning Stages
To start any business, whether it is a farm or a factory, you must prepare a business plan. Information in each section of the business plan should be concise and include an evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that may apply.
Use this Agriculture Business Plan Sample to start your farming business off on the right footing. The right information and formatting in a business plan can also help with funding, use this sample business plan and get it right.
Every farm is unique, in terms of location, soil quality, labour requirements and so on. The business plan must therefore include a “production plan”. This encompasses all the details explaining how your farm operates and what products it will produce for market.
The production plan includes such things as land, buildings, equipment, supplies and processes, as well as laws and regulations that influence the business. Production is the core income-producer for a farm, so this section must be very detailed.
You will need to do extensive research into the capabilities of your land, the type of farming you choose, market requirements and the buyers in your area.
Within the business plan, you must include the cost of equipment and storage facilities. These are needed for storing feed and the plants that are produced. For example, cow manure is a good fertiliser for crops but needs to be stored.
If you run a dairy farm, you can milk the cows by hand. However, having automated milking equipment can cut the time required to produce milk.
Commercial banks offer a wide range of finance, investment and risk management solutions across a diverse range of agribusiness products and services for the agricultural value chain.
The Land Bank of South Africa is an agricultural development finance institution that supports economic growth through the provision of retail, wholesale, project and micro-financial services to agriculture and related rural services.
It offers long, medium and short-term loans. Alternatively, click here to find out more about the various financing options available to you.
For training in agriculture ARC (Agricultural Research Council) offers a number of courses which include: Pig production, beef cattle management, small stock management, poultry production and meat processing.
Other courses offered by other institutions of ARC are:
- Grain Crops Institute – Maize and dry beans
- Plant Protection Institute – Bee keeping.
- Vegetable and Ornamental Plants -Vegetable hydroponics.
- Fruit, Vine and Wine Institute – Preserving of fruit
Other sources to contact:
- Postal: Private Bag x250, Pretoria, 0001
- Tel: +27 12 319 6000
- PO Box 1202, Honeydew 2040.
- Tel: +27 11 795 9920
- E-mail: email@example.com
Poultry Reference Laboratory
- University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110
- Tel: +27 12 529 8224
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: +27 33 346 0049
- E-mail: email@example.com
Irene Animal Improvement Institute, Advisory Services
- PO Box X2, Irene 0062
- Tel: +27 12 672 9239
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
These websites can help regarding agriculture:
- Agriculture SA
- Equipment: www.agriworldsa.com
- Live Stock: www.agriworldsa.com
- Agricultural Research Council
- Agri Eastern Cape
- Agri South Africa
- Arid Areas Programme
- Citrus Growers Association
- Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust
- Eastern Cape Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
- Mohair South Africa
- National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
- Organic Agricultural Association of South Africa
- Perishable Products Export Control Board
How To Start A Property Development Business
The first thing you must have is a good business plan.
Content in this guide
- Business plan
- Title Deeds
- Find out who owns the land
- Financial support
- Building regulations
- Join the NHBRC
- Grading levels
1. Business plan
In the business plan you also have to discuss how you intend to cope with the proposed electricity tariff increases and allow for possible interest rates hikes which would affect the profitability of the project.
Another important issue which must feature in your business plan is the cost of managing, maintaining and securing the residence.
Any organisation that is providing millions of Rand to develop such a project will need to be sure that the residence will at all times be properly maintained and is secure.
Without a sound business plan, you’ll be unable to find funding. It’s important to remember that a business plan is more than a means to money; it’s also the blueprint of the business and the best way to test whether or not the business is feasible.
You must show clearly in the business plan that you have researched the market thoroughly and are able to show that the students (who are always short of money) will and can afford to rent the accommodation as they are the key to the success of the project.
- Download this business plan to get you started.
- Download this generic business plan to create your own.
Make sure that the property is zoned for this type of accommodation. Zoning is the grading of properties in terms of what it can be used for and what can be built on that property. Zoning schemes are imposed by Provincial Legislation and administered by Municipalities.
Zoning is the grading of properties in terms of what it can be used for and what can be built on that property. Zoning schemes are imposed by Provincial Legislation and administered by Municipalities.
South Africa’s laws require that in order to develop townhouses in a residential area the property must be zoned correctly (the property may only be zoned to develop one dwelling and not a number of different units).
Related: Zoning and permits
If the property is zoned incorrectly, you have to apply for rezoning. Each local authority has different parameters in order to rezone property.
3. Title Deeds
In addition to the zoning regulations, development is also controlled by conditions of title. These conditions are set out in the Title Deed of each property, and can restrict the way in which a property may be developed.
Any development of land that ignores this legislation and its regulations can result in prosecution in terms of the applicable legislation.
The zoning regulations as well as the property description, and the size, orientation and other details can be obtained from the local municipally office and this department can also provide information regarding the National Building Regulations.
If a proposed townhouse development needs to re rezoned the application is a formal procedure. As it is a very complex procedure, it is best to consult a professional town planning consultant or other professional such as a land surveyor or a lawyer.
There are other costs to worry about as well. These include preparing the application, i.e. professional fees, the application fee charged by the council and the cost of drawing up plans.
Depending on the type of application, obtaining a decision may take as long as 12 months.
After the application is submitted it is circulated to relevant Council departments and agencies for comment.
Find out who owns the land
You will also have to find out who owns the land. Every property in South Africa has to be registered with the Deeds Registries Office in South Africa.
The deed constitutes proof of who owns the property. The deeds office keeps a record of all property transactions. If a title deed is destroyed or lost, application can be made to the deeds office for a duplicate original of the deed.
4. Financial support
As this is an education project, contact the Small Enterprise Development Agency, who provide free mentorship and guidance that will help will all the important steps in starting a successful business.
They will point you in the right direction in order to find funding and may also be able to help you get funding through the Department of Education.
However, although they do not fund projects, they will certainly be able to refer you to the right institutions. Other funders include:
NEF Imbewu Entrepreneurship Finance
They provide risk capital to new businesses in the property development arena. Visit their website for more information.
IDC – Healthcare and Education Fund
This fund supports education. Applications for financial assistance are evaluated primarily for economic merit (viability), while collateral is a secondary issue. The policy is to have interest rates between 2 below- and 5% above prime overdraft rate. Download the pdf here.
Umsobomvu Youth Fund
Enterprise Finance aims to promote entrepreneurship among young people, so it provides funding to the youth (18-35 years old) to help them start a new business or grow an existing one. However you will have to demonstrate commitment to the venture and that it will be economically viable. Visit the website .
5. Building regulations
It is widely known that the regulations for the building industry in this country are far less stringent than those of other countries.
A good reputation is so important
A reputable developer will never cut corners when building. By law certain standards have to be met throughout the building process. Architectural plans must adhere to council regulations and be passed by the local municipality.
Foundations must be approved by a building inspector before concrete is cast; the structure undergoes a damp proof test, the roof structure has to be passed and when the building is complete it must pass a final inspection.
Building inspectors can make or break a development
No loan for the construction of townhouses will be authorised by a bank without a building inspector approved by the National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) passing the structure. If you plan to sell townhouses and have cut corners, buyers will be unable to obtain funding to buy a town house.
The Builders Manual
Before you start building contact the NHBRC and arrange to get a copy of their guide, “The Builders Manual”. It is a complete guide to building and explains costing of materials, planning and just about everything you need to know.
Download ‘A Guide to the Home Building’ manual here.
There is no such thing as a free ride
There is software on the market which is designed to assist owner builders to effectively cost all aspects of construction including labour, materials and equipment. However, it’s unlikely that you will find free software that you can use effectively. Contact the NHBRC for advice.
6. Join the NHBRC
“Avoiding the professional services of a Quality Surveyor could be a foolish decision”, says Zweli Mtetwa, Public Relations Manager for the NHBRC.
“We can help. We look at plans and can advise the best route to take, discuss the right materials and check quotes to ensure that castings’ are correct and that the owner-builder is not being over charged. The only requirement is that the builder has to join the NHBRC. Registration with the NHBRC will also give builders credibility” advises Mtetwa.
Any enterprise that wants to tender work from the public sector in the construction industry, must register with the CIDB.
Before you can register with the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) you must have established your business and have a history of various construction projects under your belt.
For registration and membership fees – download the NHBRC registration form here.
The CIDB registration qualifies you for projects in the Public Sector
Any enterprise that wants to tender work from the public sector in the construction industry, must register with the CIDB. To register with CIDB your enterprise must be a registered business entity with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC).
Register the work you have completed
You must register any construction work you have done. These include contracts for the combination of goods and services, extension construction, installations, repairs, maintenance, renewals, renovations, alterations, dismantling or demolition of buildings and engineering infrastructure.
These projects must be above R200 000 for public sector and R300 000 for private sector. This creates a track record for your business which you require to register with CIDB.
Finance is not the only criteria
Your company’s ability to finance a particular construction project does not automatically mean you will qualify for a project; you need to have solid experience behind you. Nor does a grading designation actually determine which project you will be able to do.
7. Grading levels
There are nine grading levels
The different grades show the size of contracts a contractor is capable of doing. This is based on financial and works criteria. The financial criterion comprises best annual turnover, track record, and available capital.
Works capability assesses a contractor’s track record and the number of qualified professionals in certain specialist categories (e.g. electrical).
This is evaluated in terms of the contractor’s best annual turnover during the past two years, the largest contract the contractor has performed in the past five years, and the value of the available capital that a contractor is able to secure in order to perform a construction contract.
This area is evaluated in terms of the largest contract the contractor has performed in the class of works applied for, as well as compliance with statutory requirements (e.g. registration with the Electrical Contractors’ Board of SA).
The contractor must also have the required number of qualified professionals in their employ for the grade applied for. These can be either full-time employees or full-time equivalent.
There are various levels of CIDB Grading. Always apply for the level you are capable of:
A contractor can also apply for recognition as a “potentially emerging contractor”. Potentially Emerging status indicates that the contractor has significant development potential, but has impediments that must be overcome.
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