It was a cool morning at around 4:00 AM on the 21st of August at the Northrise Farm. A light truck from Hybrid Zambia pulled into the Northrise Farm premises. Bob Chewetu, the farm foreman, was at hand with other farm hands to receive the second batch of chicks. They totaled 3000 in all. For the next six weeks these chicks will be natured under very strict bio-security measures until they are ready for market as meat. These measures are aimed at protecting the chicks from disease. Only the poultry personnel will be allowed in and out of the poultry. They have to wear special poultry attire that is washed with a disinfectant. Before entering the poultry house they also always have to step in the footbath. The footbath is filled with a disinfectant that kills any pathogens that may be lodged in the soles of the shoes.
The chicks were put on a starter menu of Broiler Starter in crumble form for the first three days. After which they will be fed broiler starter in pallete form. “The reason we are using Broiler Crumble is because the chicks are eating for the first time, and so the particles of the feed should be very, very small,” Bob said. The chicks will be ready for market between the 5th and 7th of October. “A big number of the chicks when ready for meat will be sold on cold dressed rate.” This means that the abattoir will be used to process the chickens. Another advantage of this is that the chickens will be sold per Kilogram as opposed to the live weight-selling price. The live weight-selling price is usually a flat figure.
The use of the abattoir will create employment for the locals in the Northrise Farm surrounding area. Bob has mentioned that the abattoir may need at least four more hands to help in the dressing of the chickens. These people will be trained in the skills involved in preparing dressed chickens, a vocational skill that will enable them earn a living and uplift their standards economically.
The harvesting of bananas is still ongoing as the fruit is still plentiful and ripening. Bob said, “Harvesting is still on until maybe the middle of October”. Clients for the Northrise bananas include members of the surrounding community and retailers in Ndola town center. “I have started a small business from the bananas I buy here. The price is reasonable and I make a small profit which helps me and my family,” said Magret Chilufya, one of the clients from Twapia, a township close to the Northrise Farm.