Poultry sector registers significant milestones

03 Mar, 2022 - 00:03 0 Views
Poultry sector registers significant milestones Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Chronicle

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S poultry sector registered a five percent growth to reach 90 million chicks last year on the back of the bumper harvest the country attained last season.

A good harvest meant that poultry farmers had improved availability of stockfeed, which is a major input for poultry farming.

In 2020, poultry farmers produced 85 million chicks. In an interview, Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairman Mr Solomon Zawe said despite the negative impact of Covid-19 on the economy, the sector registered significant milestones.

“The poultry industry did well last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the bumper harvest was there thus production went on well and we produced about 90 million day-old chicks last year. We didn’t go out of mark as we were producing almost eight million day-old chicks per month.

“And up to now, we had some importation of hatching eggs which was good for the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance to give us a free duty to import from Europe and we did that,” he said.

In September last year, players in the poultry industry engaged the Government seeking another import duty waiver on hatching eggs from outside Sadc by an additional six months to end this month.

Through Statutory Instrument (SI) 245 of 2020, the Government has been able to suspend duty on fertilized eggs for hatching by approved breeders.

Before the introduction of SI 245 of 2020, poultry producers indicated that egg and day-old chicks attracted 40 percent duty.

The effect increased the retail price of chicks and chickens as the end product factored in the cost of importing.
Going forward into the year, Mr Zawe said, the buying power of consumers would determine the output by poultry farmers this year.

“If people have got money they can come and buy chickens. If they don’t have money, they can’t buy chickens.

“As a sector we are looking forward to the economy improving as when it improves, everyone has got a fat purse and that spurs demand for our product.

“So far, we are happy that there is demand for day old chicks and we are happy with that and we are supplying,” he said.

Turning to the cost of stockfeed, Mr Zawe said the cost remains a challenge and there is also a shortage of wheat bran, maize bran and soya meal.

“We are importing all those and next year we hope we will be self-sufficient,” he said. — @Kazunga

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