BULAWAYO, October 28 (The Source) — The number of slaughtered pigs dropped by one percent in the first 9 months of 2015 as demand fell due to falling disposable incomes and outbreak of African swine fever, an industry official has said.
Pig Industry Board director Andrew Shoniwa told The Source that 98,234 pigs were slaughtered in registered abattoirs as at September 2015, compared to 98,894 in the same period last year.
“The industry is facing some challenges. There was an outbreak of African swine fever in Mt Darwin, in Mashonaland Central province,” Shoniwa said.
“The producer prices of pork have decreased significantly. Currently the producer price is ranging from $2.50-$2.60. The wholesale price of pork has also decreased. The wholesale price is ranging from $2.80-$3.00. This situation is attributed to reduced demand,” he added.
Shoniwa said judging from what happened in the first 9 months, estimates are that around 130,000 pigs will be slaughtered in registered abattoirs in 2015.
In addition to falling disposable incomes and prices, Shoniwa said there was the issue of high production costs, lack of medium to long term finance, high interest rates and uncertainty with regard to the 2015-2016 agricultural season.
“As you know, there have been predictions of below normal rains,” he said.
Shoniwa added that the construction of the artificial insemination centre was completed and equipment imported.
“We are waiting to take delivery of imported breeding stock,” he said.