Kwartelboerdery – nou ‘n winsgewende bedryf

Kwartelvleis en -eiers is ‘n duur lekkerny in die voorste restaurante in die wêreld, en benewens Europa is dit veral gewild in die Oosterse, veral Chinese en Japanese kookkuns.

Kwarteleiers beveg allergieë en baie ander siektes soos spysvertering en maagsere. Kwarteleiers is goed vir die uriensisteem, verbeter geheue en verhoog breinaktiwiteit. Kwarteleiers help ook vir tuberkulose, asma, diabetes, nierstene en galblaasstene. Kwarteleiers word ook in skoonheidsprodukte gebruik soos gesigsroom en haarsjampoo.

            In ons wêreld is kwartelboerdery nog relatief onbekend en ons wou meer weet hieroor. Dit is ook van die begin af duidelik dat kwartelboerdery landwyd nog in sy kinderskoene staan. Dit is ook onbekend dat kwarteleiers – vars en gepekel – lekkernye is wat in toonaangewende restaurante opgedis word. Ontbeende kwartels is op die mark geplaas wat met verskeie vulsels gestop word. Die supermarkgroep Pick ‘n Pay het die produkte begin verkoop en kort daarna het ander verskaffers landwyd gevolg. Baie duidelik dra die laevetgehalte van die pluimvee, hulle het heelwat minder vet as hoenders omdat hulle vrylopend is, by tot die produkte se gewildheid.

“Kan ‘n mens geld maak met kwartels? Beslis, maar jy word nie oornag ryk nie, sê meneer Pieter de Jager, wat besig is met sy meestersgraad oor kommersiële kwartelboerdery. Dit is ‘n nismark wat op die punt van groot ontwikkeling staan.

Kwartels kan goed hoor, al sê die spreekwoord “so doof soos ‘n kwartel”. Wat egter baie belangrik is, is dat kwartelproduksie in Suid-Afrika aan die vooraand van buitengewone groei staan. Hoewel boerdery met kwartels reeds dekades lank ‘n volwaardige bedryf oorsee is, is Suid-Afrikaners se siening van dié klein voëltjies nou eers werklik besig om te verander.” Só sê mnr. Pieter de Jager, navorser aan die technikon Port Elizabeth se Saasveld-kampus buite George, en sélf ‘n geesdriftige kwartelboer.

Hy sê daar word wêreldwyd met kwartels geboer, en dié spesie se ekonomiese belangrikheid groei oral. Om ‘n ekonomiese kwarteleenheid te bedryf, moet minstens ‘n duisend wyfies aangehou word. Hoewel berekeninge onderhewig is aan baie faktore wat van boerdery tot boerdery sal verskil, kan tot R40 per voël per jaar gegenereer word. Voordat almal egter kwartelboerdery as ‘n maklike ekstra inkomste sien, is daar sekere aspekte wat in ag geneem moet word, sê hy. Een van hierdie aspekte is die feit dat dit sowat sewe kwartels verg om een kilogram vleis te produseer. ‘n Ander feit is dat kwartelprodukte in dié stadium grotendeels te duur is vir die deursnee Suid-Afrikaanse verbruiker om dit op groot skaal te gebruik. Hy sê die algemeenste kwartel wat wêreldwyd kommersieel gebruik word, is die Japannese kwartel (Coturnix coturnix japonica), wat glo al in die 11de eeu vir hul mooi sang deur die Japannese aangehou is.

Mnr. De Jager sê vandag word wêreldwyd met kwartels geboer en hul belangrikheid as boerderyvertakking neem oral toe – ook in Suid-Afrika, hoewel die bedryf hier nog in sy kinderskoene is. Wat kwartels ‘n besonder produktiewe boerderyvertakking maak, is die voëls se vinnige groeitempo, hul vroeë geslagsrypheid, die kort generasie-interval en hul hoë eierproduksie. Hulle benodig ook ‘n kleiner voer- en groeispasie as wat die geval is met hoenderboerdery. Hy sê die Japannese kwartel produseer sowat 250 tot 300 eiers per jaar, en elke eier weeg sowat 11 g – nagenoeg 6 % van die voël se liggaamsgewig. Hoendereiers weeg gemiddeld sowat 3% van ‘n hen se liggaamsgewig.

‘n Kwartelboerdery neem nie baie ruimte in beslag nie. Tot 30 voëls kan per vierkante meter aangehou word, en ál wat nodig is, is ruimte in ‘n skuur of motorhuis. Saagsels word op die vloer gestrooi.

Kwartelprodukte, wat hoofsaaklik bestaan uit vleis en eiers, het ‘n unieke smaak en voorkoms, en dit maak daarvan ‘n eksotiese lekkerny. Daarom is die teikenmark vir dié produkte die hoër inkomstegroepe. Veral buitelandse toeriste koop dit graag. Eiers is in dié stadium die belangrikste kwartelproduk in Suid-Afrika, en word vars verkoop of in gepekelde vorm aangebied, wat hul raklewe baie verleng. Hulle is baie gewild vir gebruik in slaaie, voorgeregte en peuselhappies.

Kwartelvleis word bemark as heel of ontbeende karkasse, of as gemarineerde vleis. Dit het ‘n hoër proteïen- en ‘n laer vetinhoud as hoendervleis, wat dit dus gesonder maak om te eet. Hy sê daar is produsente in Suid-Afrika wat al meer as tien jaar in die bedryf is, maar dit is steeds ‘n nismark en begin nou eers werklik ontwikkel. In dié stadium oorskry die potensiële binnelandse mark vir kwartelvleis en kwarteleiers die werklike mark by verre.

Mnr. De Jager sê die kommersiële kwartelbedryf in Suid-Afrika hou groot moontlikhede in, soos ook in die buiteland. Die produk voldoen volkome aan die behoeftes van die moderne huisvrou. Daarby is mense ook meer gesondheidsbewus en meer kreatief ten opsigte van hul eetgewoontes. Kwartels kan juis maklik en vinnig voorberei en op opwindende maniere voorgesit word.

Ook ontwikkelende boere kan baat vind by kwartelproduksie omdat min kapitaal aanvanklik benodig word, die voëls ‘n klein groeispasie benodig en ‘n vinnige generasie-interval het. Dit kan vir dié mense ook ‘n uitstekende bron van proteïen wees. Omdat die bedryf in die land in dié stadium nog baie klein is, sal produsente moet saamwerk om op wêreldvlak mededingend te raak ten einde geleenthede te benut, meen mnr. De Jager.

63 thoughts on “Kwartelboerdery – nou ‘n winsgewende bedryf

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