Brighton Gumbo Business Reporter
PLAYERS in the poultry industry say chicken sales declined by about 20 percent this festive season largely due to limited disposable income by their major customers.
During the festive season, the poultry sector usually records brisk business.
The Zimbabwe Poultry Farmers Association chairman George Nare told Business Chronicle last week that the delayed salaries for the civil servants impacted negatively on the chicken sales.
“The sales that we recorded during the festive season aren’t what we expected and we estimate that sales dropped by about 20 percent compared to previous years.”
Nare said the situation was worsened by the fact that many companies were also not paying salaries hence very few families could afford to buy chickens.
“Supermarkets still have huge stocks of chickens yet in the past retail outlets used to run out of chickens during the festivities,” said Nare.
He said Zimbabweans in the diaspora especially from neighbouring South Africa who used to boost sales, were not felt this past festive season due to the falling rand.
Nare said a reduced number of injiva came home and many of them did not have much money to spend as was the case in the past.
He said poultry farmers had started scaling down operations in response to the reduced demand for chickens.
Last July, the poultry industry cut chicken prices by 23 percent in a bid to fight competition from cheap imports flooding the market.
Despite assurances by the local poultry sector that it is able to meet national demand, Zimbabwe is still importing chicken products mainly from South Africa and Brazil.