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Pushing the food self-sufficiency agenda

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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. In its commitment to the Government of Botswana’s vision of self-sufficiency, the company has invested in a breeder farm and hatchery in Botswana. This will ensure that Cobb 500 chicks are available for growers in the country. Irvine Botswana is a joint venture between Irvines group and Amigear Ventures.

As a Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) accredited company, Irvine’s Botswana was established in 2001, with the primary aim of supplying COB500-day-old broiler chicks targeting small and large-scale farmers in responding to the gap in the market, the company has set up a hatchery in Francistown in 2002 and later established a breeder farm in 2007, with a total employment level of 119 employees.

On 18 November 2022, Irvine’s Botswana’s Feed Mill was officially launched by the President of Botswana Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi in Mmamashia. This was facilitated by BITC as it continues to support the Government’s efforts to diversify the economy through the attraction of investments into different key sectors of the economy.

“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,” said Masisi. 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.

To date, the company employs over 180 employees in its Botswana facilities and has production facilities in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The official opening was also graced by the Minister of Trade and Industry Mmusi Kgafela, Minister of Agriculture Fidelis Molao, Minister of Defence and Security Kagiso Mmusi, and Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Mabuse Pule and senior officials from both private and public sectors.