Finding a niche in tough times

This story is one in a series from Frances Chisholm highlighting stories of lives impacted by World Poultry Foundation programs and workshops both in the U.S. and abroad. We encourage you to learn more about Ms. Chisholm and our poultry projects in South Africa.

The timing of Errol Mathevula’s return to South Africa from his one-year World Poultry Foundation-funded poultry internship in the US was inauspicious, to say the least – South Africa was on the brink of record-breaking unemployment under the COVID-19 lockdown. But Errol, passionate about poultry farming kept calm and invested some of his hard-earned savings in setting up a small layer operation at home.

Starting with a hundred Lohmann Browns, he is currently selling 90-94 eggs a day. They go mainly to a local entrepreneur who re-sells them, hard-boiled, at nearby public transport hubs and sports fields. Of the customers, Errol says, “They know my eggs are fresh since I also sell in the community, and the demand is steady and strong.” He plans to double production soon and “take it to new heights.” “I keep production and mortality records, plus records of vaccinations and medication. And I have very few cracked eggs,” he adds proudly.

With some equally passionate friends, Errol has also partnered in a nascent poultry cooperative. The
group has acquired 4 hectares (almost 10 acres) of land from tribal authorities and received approval
from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to proceed. The business plan is “in draft,”
says Errol, and the group expects to finance the operation with a combination of savings and help from
government agencies. While the other partners focus on broilers, Errol will bring his layer expertise.
The young poultry farmer still has his eye set on securing a managerial position at a large poultry farm;
he chases down every lead. In the meantime, never one to sit back and wait for “the big job,” Errol’s
fledgling poultry business gives him a lot of satisfaction.

It’s egg-citing, Errol. Good luck to you! We look forward to hearing more!


Ms. Frances Chisholm
Friend & Supporter of the WPF
Learn More About Frances