ZIMBABWE - Zimbabwe's poultry prices are set to rise following the imposition of a compulsory licence for importers by government, the African Development Bank (AfDB) warned.
According to Zimbabwe's DailyNews, in order to control the influx of cheap chickens that are threatening the domestic industry, poultry importers now require a licence from the Industry ministry in addition to the one issued by the ministry of Agriculture.
"The move is meant to reduce poultry imports and, thus, protecting local producers," AfDB said, adding, however, that Zimbabwe’s industry faced challenges.
The local poultry industry is facing problems including high cost of doing business, unreliable power supply and poor disease control.
AfDB said the local producers may face challenges in increasing production levels, "which may lead to increases in poultry prices." Zimbabwe imports around 3000 tonnes of chickens per month worth about $60 million.
While local suppliers sufficiently produced for the domestic market previously, high production costs and stock feed shortages, among other impediments, have also had a severe knock on output.
Capacity among local chicken producers has therefore plunged to 1900 tonnes per month against an estimated demand of 3500 tonnes.
Zimbabwe imports most of its chicken from South Africa.
Two Brazilian abattoirs and one each from Argentina and Uruguay have also been exporting chickens into the country.
Brazil has capacity to slaughter up to five million birds per day, which is in sharp contrast to the 700 000 chickens slaughtered by South African producers.
Locally, the major poultry producers include Irvine’s Chickens.
TheMeatSite News Desk