BULAWAYO, February 11 (The Source) – The number of slaughtered pigs increased by 6,5 percent in 2015 due to favourable producer prices that prevailed during the first half of the year, an industry official has said.
Pig Industry Board director Andrew Shoniwa told The Source that prices and demand had since plummeted, rendering the industry unviable at the moment.
“The producer price is currently low and while the producer price has decreased, the production costs have not, thereby negatively affecting the margins. Depending on area, the producer price is ranging from $2,45 to $2,60 per kg,” he said.
“The number of pigs slaughtered in registered abattoirs was 6.5 percent higher than that slaughtered in 2014. The number slaughtered in 2015 was 139,146. The amount of pork produced through registered abattoirs’ was 9, 223 tonnes. The tonnage produced was 5,9 percent higher than in 2014. The improvements recorded were mainly because of the favourable producer prices that prevailed during the first half of 2015.”
Shoniwa noted that the effects of El Nino weather conditions, which has caused widespread drought in southern Africa, was going to negatively affect pig production.
He also said there was likely to be increases in the prices of stock feed that will not be matched by increases in producer prices.
“From what we hear, the region does not have enough maize hence there will be need to import from outside the region resulting in logistical and cost challenges,” he said.
“Added to this is the (Zimbabwe government) policy on GMO (genetically modified organism). The country does not allow importation of GMO maize. The policy limits our sources of maize and it causes logistical challenges in the event that milled GMO maize is going to be allowed into the country.”
Going forward, Shoniwa said stakeholders in the industry were working together with government to ensure that the livestock industry was considered when the State imports maize for the country’s needs.
“The stock feed industry is also looking at importing their needs thereby complimenting government efforts,” he said.