Three years ago, Luxolo Xengana, 27, started an agro-processing business, selling chicken products to people in low-income communities at competitive prices because there was no option to fail.
Xengana, who grew up in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, said he wanted to make food affordable for all because he understood the hardships faced by disadvantaged communities.
“My goal is affordable quality,” he said.
Xengana’s business, Luxolo Agri Processing (Pty) Ltd, provides solutions for emerging farmers and low-income families.
Initially, he sold prepackaged chicken livers, feet, hearts, gizzards and necks, which he sourced from poultry slaughterhouses, but later he started selling chicken nuggets sourced from local farmers.
His target market is small communities, and he achieves this through a partnership with a local commissary. He also sells his products at market stalls. He currently serves Ennerdale, Lawley, Finetown, Vlakfontein and Lehae.
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) provides financial assistance to help Xengana start a business.
“I received a business plan voucher, which I used to get help developing a business plan. I also received funds to buy stocks and buy refrigerators,” Xengana said.
He learned about NYDA through an internet search and visited its Johannesburg branch.
Xengana said he faced a lot of difficulties, but his passion for the industry kept him motivated. “We started selling door-to-door, but I had to restructure the business and create partnerships to last long.”
The company currently employs four full-time and two part-time employees.
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The entrepreneur believes that the poultry industry is important to South Africa as chicken is an affordable source of protein widely eaten by many South Africans.
Demand for chickens is higher than supply, leaving a void for new entrants to the industry, he said.
Xengana said it was important for young people to be involved in the poultry industry because their creativity was necessary to develop the industry.
His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is that they should do thorough research on the industry they want to venture into.
His dream is to grow his business, including raising chickens, slaughtering, packaging and distribution.
Author: Ursula Graff
This article was originally published on GCIS Vuk’uzenzele.