One of our primary objectives is to positively contribute to the promotion and development of the racing pigeon industry, both locally and abroad. A Non-Profit-Organisation (NPO) will be established to focus on the development of the sector, the empowerment of pigeon fanciers (both existing and potential) and to unlock the tremendous social and economic benefits attached to the sport.
The NPO will play a pivotal role in identifying challenges hamstringing the growth of the industry and craft strategies to increase participation across all age groups, gender and races in South Africa. Anecdotal evidence informs us that participation in the sport has been dwindling for various reasons.
Over and above economic and budgetary constraints, other barriers such as space for a loft, quality pigeons, education around animal husbandry and pigeon health have all been cited as some of the challenges. This, together with other feedback and research conducted, will inform the sustainable support package the NPO envisages to deliver.
Given the South African context, we acknowledge the importance of redressing the legacy of the past to promote inclusivity, participation and empowerment in the industry. Understanding the international landscape and keeping abreast with the latest developments in the industry and medical research will additionally be a crucial role of the NPO.
We envisage close cooperation between the NPO and existing formal structures such as SANPO, SASCOC and the FCI to the benefit of all existing and new participants.
The NPO will also play an active role in funding and monitoring various initiatives to encourage partnerships between existing and new grassroots level fanciers.
Some of the initiatives that we envision the NPO to facilitate, drive and monitor are:
- The conducting of an in-depth research study into the pigeon racing sector and to produce an evidenced-based document to be utilised by stakeholders in the industry.
- Identifying potential students and setting up a formal experiential training course at the Afrikapro Loft
- Funding bursaries for prospective Veterinary Students who specialise in pigeons/ornithology.
- Identifying and potential partnerships between young aspiring fanciers and older experienced fanciers who are considering exiting the sport.