Quacking up a storm

Kabelo Adamson

The healthy delights of duck meat

With the ‘healthy living’ crusade gaining momentum by the day, people are more focused on their diet than ever before.

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In a nation famous for her meat lovers, 34-year-old McConnel Molefe believes he has come up with a healthy solution to satisfy the carnivore’s hunger for blood: duck meat.

Although it has only been in operation for two weeks, Molefe says ‘Ribcage Botswana’ has been warmly received by the stomachs of Gaborone’s residents.

“I got inspired by the fact that Batswana nowadays are into a healthy lifestyle. I thought I should introduce a product which will complement their lifestyle, hence I started selling duck meat,” explained the Mochudi native, whose enterprise operates entirely on a takeaway basis.

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“The demand is high, but I was prepared for it because I knew I didn’t have much competition, so I made sure I have enough stock,” he said, adding he also sells pre-cooked marinated ribs and seafood to provide customers with a variety of choice and tastes.

Molefe told Voice Money he breeds the ducks at his farm in Matlhage [Kgatleng District] and sources extra from local farmers to supplement his produce.

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“I am a passionate farmer and I look forward to expanding to food production in the future,” he said, explaining that he currently has a business partner who focuses on accounting while he takes care of the marketing and sales part of the business.

With ‘Ribcage Botswana’ still in its infancy, Molefe said they currently sell to individuals only, describing their support as ‘overwhelming’.

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Molefe encouraged people to eat more duck meat as he says it is nutritious and healthy as compared to other meats.

Quacking up a storm
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“Duck meat is nutritious and delicious, it is lean meat comparable in fats and calories to a skinless chicken or turkey breast,” he said, further adding that the meat is also an excellent source of selenium and zinc, minerals that both encourage good cellular metabolism.

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He says since duck is red meat, it contains high amounts of iron compared to other poultry.

Currently, Molefe says they only sell in Gaborone and surrounding areas but plan to expand the business to the rest of the country ‘soon’.

In his short stint as a business-owner to date, Molefe says he has realised that as long as one provides good products and superior customer service, people will always give support.

“One needs to be consistent in good service delivery. The market is there, we only need to brand ourselves in a good way,” he noted, admitting that introducing a new product into the market has not been without its challenges.

“The main challenge that we have encountered so far is that most people don’t know much about duck meat. So it was a bit difficult to sell it to them at first and we had to reduce the price of the meat to increase sales which resulted in some losses,” he said.

However, Molefe says there has already been a slight turnaround in fortunes and he has been able to push prices back up without affecting the demand.

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