Brighton Gumbo, Business Reporter
SMALLHOLDER farmers have become the dominant suppliers of poultry products in Zimbabwe as more people tap into opportunities offered in the sub-sector.
Zimbabwe Poultry Farmers Association chairman, George Nare, told Business Chronicle that indigenous farmers now account for over 60 percent of product supply on the market – judging by results of a recent survey conducted by the organisation.
“In terms of figures of supply, small-scale farmers dominate the poultry industry in the country at about 60 percent,” said Nare.
“Usually these smallholder farmers offer their products on credit to their neighbours or well established restaurants where they give an allowance of up to a month to pay.”
According to the study, said Nare, one in every five houses in urban areas reared chickens with each household having a rearing capacity of about 150 birds.
He said small-scale farmers were not confined to people who keep chickens in their backyards only, but also those operating from plots with a capacity of producing a maximum of 5,000 chickens.
However, Nare was quick to highlight that a number of smallholder farmers were starting to scale down operations because of competition.
“Competition has become tough with fully established players cutting prices for a kilogramme to about $3. Considering the high costs incurred in raising chickens, smallholder farmers are being pushed out of business,” he said.
“Large players are the ones now realising profits as some are now producing their own stock feed and are supplying large supermarkets at a competitive price compared with smallholder farmers who sell their 2kg chickens at $8.”
Meanwhile, Nare said chicken feed prices were likely to go up in light of the prevailing dry climate.