Kadhikwa calls for level playing field
By Staff Reporter
Entrepreneur and poultry farmer Twapewa Kadhikwa has called for the emancipation of small to medium scale poultry producers in the country that are failing to break into the retail market because of a long standing monopoly held by seasoned producers.
Most small poultry farmers in the country do not have it easy in the market, which is dominated by either seasoned producers or imports.
Although repeated calls have been made to promote local producers the market is still heavily skewed towards the major players, with large portion of chicken imported from South Africa.
While acknowledging that policies including the Growth at Home have been created, she bemoaned the lack of implementation in a manner that will level the playing field for all stakeholders involved – big and small.
“We recently had an engagement about this same issue and I have raised questions pertaining to the issue of small to medium scale farmers being given a chance. There is virtually nothing that the large scale producers are doing that we cannot do. However, these issues hinge on policy. There is need for our politicians to understand that the avenues need to be opened for all.”
Kadhikwa, who runs a thriving poultry project on the outskirts of Windhoek employing over 80 people and a popular traditional restaurant, Xwama, known for producing traditional delicacies, says the country’s financing models need to be looked into.
“The financiers are all about collateral and they least care about the well-being of your business. There is need for the broadening of the financing models and have institutions that can finance potential.
“What I am talking about is an institution that grows with you and takes you to the destination you want. I do not think in this day entrepreneurs in our sector are keen on the NEEEF model where they are given shares in someone’s company.
“Personally as a business person I do not need shares from someone’s business I need an opportunity to and assistance to grow mine to a level that these same big companies have reached,” she said.
Although her influence in the agriculture sector through poultry has not yet broken into the conventional retail market, she has penetrated the whole market in Katutura where she distributes large numbers of chicken and eggs on a daily basis.
“What is simply needed is to give the consumer the opportunity to choose what they want. Create that platform where most of these retail chains sell both traditional chicken and broilers and give the consumer the option to choose what their favourite is.
“This is currently missing because as far as I am concerned there seem to be a mismatch between the policies on paper and what is happening on the ground,” she said.
Kadhikwa’s chicken farm on the peripheries of the capital also provides a full production cycle from breeding of the chicken to processing of the market ready product. It also has employees responsible for packaging of both the eggs and the chicken for sale. Other consumers prefer buying their chickens live.
According to Kadhikwa, polices put to empower small scale farmers or local businesses are still not fully felt on the ground because they are not being implemented.