Poultry-based poverty alleviation projects in Ehlanzeni District Municipality: do they contribute to the South African government’s ‘developmental state’ ambition?
The aim of this study was to identify both institutional and production constraints to the success of poultry-based poverty alleviation projects (PAPs) in Bushbuckridge Municipality of the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga Province. A mixed methods research design was used. Purposive sampling was used to select 10 Chairpersons, 20 ordinary members, and five extension officers of PAPs who served as respondents in the study. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a semi-structured guide to collect qualitative data. The qualitative data was analysed using the Atlas ti 7.0.81 software. The results were used to develop a questionnaire employed to collect quantitative data from 116 respondents. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0 was used to analyze the latter data. The major institutional constraints identified, in descending order of severity, were: lack of regulation of prices of poultry feed, lack of government start-up capital/subsidy, inadequate extension shows the poor support the PAPs receive. High price of poultry feeds force PAPs to stock fewer chickens was the major production constraint followed by diseases, in particular New Castle and Bronchitis are killing chickens and water supply is so erratic and unreliable that it affects effective running of poultry-based PAPs. It was concluded that despite the wide range of constraints facing them, PAPs were improving people’s livelihoods. The need for revamping the local extension service in order to deal with the numerous challenges that the PAPs faced was highlighted. Central to this reengineering of the extension support system is the need for creating platforms and opportunities for the PAPs to co-learn and learn from each other, both of which are fundamental ingredients of sustainability.
Keywords: Constraints; developmental state; extension; poverty