The Depertment of Trade and Industry (DTI) has contributed 28 million rand towards the 40,000 ton per month chicken feed mill with the remainder of the costs being undertaken by Astral Foods, South Africa’s largest poultry producer.
“The DTI expresses its gratitude to the leadership of [DATA ARL:Astral Foods] for undertaking such as major investment. It takes brave and visionary businesspeople who are endowed with exceptional business acumen to decide to invest such amounts of money in an industry that is facing various challenges,” said Lionel October, the director-general of the DTI at the officially opening on the mill in Mpumalanga on Thursday.
“The country needs more business leaders of your calibre who are prepared to take South Africa forward.”
October explained that the initiative is part of South Africa’s Industrial Policy Action Plan designed to boost productivity sectors such as agriculture, agro-processing and manufacturing.
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To date, the DTI have invested over 1.2 billion rand into the agro-processing sector over the past five years in order to enhance the production of local goods.
“We regard agro-processing as an important sector in achieving the objectives of government to create one millions jobs in agriculture by 2019,” he said.
Gary Arnold, the director of business development at Astral Foods, added that the mill is in an ideal location in Standerton, Mpumalanga as it is close to Astral’s poultry farms and at the centre of the maize and soya growing region.
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“The new mill makes use of the latest technology and is more energy efficient compared to the older feed mills in South Africa. It will reduce the cost of producing poultry feed due to the lower labour requirements and efficient cost production,” he added.