Top chicken farmer credits BSSA for success
He believes he has the biggest black-owned chicken farm in Africa, and presently has 430 000 birds in eight poultry houses on his 54 ha property.
This is Peter Tshikhudo (36), owner of Shumani Broilers near Koster in North-West Province. Peter’s highly successful operation supplies 3.6 million birds per year to one of South Africa’s largest chicken producers, which in turn processes and distributes them to a leading national fast-food chain. The farm has an annual turnover of just over R8 million.
Peter ascribes some of his success to the BSSA Core Programme training he received back in 2003, which he says was “invaluable” in establishing himself as an entrepreneur.
“I grew up in Venda, where my father was a successful crop farmer, so I always knew I wanted to farm,” he says.
BSSA recently visited Peter on his farm as part of the training aftercare the organisation remains committed to.
After completing a BA degree in Communications and part of an Honours degree in Labour Relations at the then Rand Afrikaans University, Peter worked in the Communications Department of the South African Bureau of Standards for a while.
“I then saw a newspaper advertisement for the BSSA courses, and the training equipped me with an understanding of practical marketing, financial management, and practical pricing and costing. When I wanted to buy the farm with its existing poultry operation as a going concern, BSSA helped me put together the business plan that got me started.”
The enterprising young farmer initially embarked on his new venture on his own, but has subsequently taken in two partners. He started with 20 employees, but this number has now grown to 40 permanent staff members. He also provides job opportunities for a further 200 outsourced workers who assist him at various stages of the chicken raising cycle.
Peter obtains day-old chicks from the chicken producer and raises them for 35 days, whereafter they are returned to the producer. He has eight 35-day cycles per year.
He is now planning to add a further two poultry houses, which will allow him to increase the number of birds by 90 000 per cycle, and will provide an additional seven permanent employment positions.
Following in his father’s footsteps, he has also branched into crop farming and has some of his land under spinach, with a further 5 ha in the pipeline. He sells his spinach to local supermarkets as well as outlets in Pretoria.
His advice to new or prospective business owners: “It is crucial to learn how to run a business before starting out, especially the financial aspects, whether you have money or not. I would not have been nearly as successful had it not been for the BSSA training I received.”