Poultry production to increase 75pct after chicken import squeeze

Poultry production to increase 75pct after chicken import squeeze

BULAWAYO, November 25 (The Source) – Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) says its members are targeting to produce over 70 million day-old chicks next year up from around 40 million this year following new tariffs restricting the importation of poultry products.

Zimbabwe has a combined hatching capacity of 76 million day-old chicks per annum but over the years, cheap imported chickens have flooded the local market edging out local producers.

In an interview with The Source on Monday, ZPA chairperson Solomon Zawe said the industry was operating under harsh economic environment fuelled by liquidity crunch and cheap imports from countries such as South Africa that were threatening the viability of the poultry industry in Zimbabwe.

“We were doing well in the last seven months to July where we produced 36, 5 million chicks but in the last three months from July we have seen a decline due to an influx of chicken imports flooding the market. However,  next year we are targeting to produce more than 70 million chicks but this is also under threat due to imports,” said Zawe.

Zawe said due to the influx of chicken imports flooding the industry, they have started having some cancellation of orders from their buyers.

He, however, said the association has enough stock for the festive season.

Poultry breeding and production in Zimbabwe is commercially based and includes thousands of indigenous producers in communal areas and in backyards in urban areas.

Government in 2012 imposed import duty of $1,50 per kilogramme on imported chicken but this has done little to curb imports.

Zimbabwe imports most of its chicken from South Africa and Brazil.

The body has already said this year’s production target of 78 million day old chicks will not be met due to influx of cheap chicken imports.

Last year it produced over 64 million chicks.