Irvine’s, a regional poultry producer with roots in Zimbabwe, has officially inaugurated its new P56 million (US$4.34m) poultry feed mill in Botswana, with an annual processing capacity of 48,000 tons.
As a Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) accredited company, with a rich history dating back to 2001 since setting base in the country, Irvine’s produces and supplies 18-million-day old chicks annually through its breeder farm and hatchery.
The company has over 180 employees and indirectly provides employment to thousands more in the broiler industry and supports over 5,000 local poultry farmers.
The new facility is aimed to ensure a reliable supply of high-quality feed to both large and small-scale poultry producers in the Southern African country to ensure food security.
“All our investments are done to the highest international standards to ensure good levels of bio-security and the latest international standards in manufacturing practices which enable us to provide all our customers with quality products.
“We believe if we can grow our customers’ businesses through supply of top-quality products and training, our business will also grow and this in turn will help grow the businesses that supply us with raw materials,” said Irvine’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Craig Irvine.
It is estimated that in Botswana, the small-scale farming sector produces over 11 million chickens per year, generating over P678 million (US$52.5m) in revenue.
Irvine highlighted that is not only the local poultry industry which their investment will support but also the horticulture market.
“In the 2022 season, Irvine’s has already procured 9500 tons of maize from BAMB and Botswana Maize farmers,” highlighted the company.
Officially opening the mill, President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi said, “Irvine’s Botswana comes at an opportune time when the Government is coming up with key initiatives to close existing gaps in the agricultural sector, to achieve food self-sufficiency and become a net exporter of agricultural products.
“The sector in its entirety has enormous potential to catalyse economic growth post the Covid-19 pandemic.”
He further lauded Irvine’s Botswana in imparting skills to Batswana through its training centre where it offers free weekly training seminars for all chicken growers, to enable them to run successful poultry businesses.
Irvines has been producing chicken in Southern Africa since the 1950s and has grown from a single room in a home to producing over 1.5-million-day old chicks per week across Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
According to its parent company Innscor Africa, the poultry entity recorded volume growth across all three core categories in the full year ended June 2022.
In the table egg category, a 6% growth over the comparative year represented record production within this category.
Frozen poultry demand remained firm, and volumes increased 17% versus the comparative year.
Demand across the day-old chick market also improved, and volumes closed 25% ahead of the comparative year.