Poultry Import Ban Stays, Local Poultry Farmers to Cash-In
Minister of Livestock, Michael Katambo has affirmed that the importation of poultry and related products remains banned in Zambia. Speaking during his presentation of his ministerial statement in Parliament on October 12, 3017, Katambo stated that his ministry banned the importation of poultry and related products from countries that have reported outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza - HPAI in June 2017.
The avian influenza or bird flu virus can kill 90% to 100% of the flock on affected farms was the main reason for effecting the ban. He said that the disease can cause outbreaks that may spread rapidly within the country and devastate the poultry industry resulting in economic losses. Additionally, the rural poultry farming community can be negatively affected by the disease due to the high mortalities and this can result in the perpetuation of poverty in affected areas.
Katambo said that the threat of HPAI is still there, the current situation is that Zambia has not recorded any cases of HPAI. However, some of our neighbouring countries have continued to see cases and in some instances the disease has been spreading. South Africa has seen the disease spread to new areas and cases are still being reported as of 2nd Oct. Zimbabwe last reported cases on 13th Sep. but has not resolved the outbreak.
Local poultry production has seen an upswing as it is a business that small scale enterprises - SME's can engage in and grow as there is ample local demand. There has also been a further boost to local poultry farmers as reported by the Poultry Association of Zambia with national average prices for broiler and layer feed continue to exhibit further reductions the past few weeks.
Broiler starter as at the weekly report for second week of October shows that the feed is now trading at ZMW183.78 per 50kg bag from ZMW189.89; grower is now trading at ZMW 178.22 from ZMW 185.11 last week while finisher is averaging ZMW 172.00 from ZMW 179.11 obtained last week respectively. There are also movements on the layers feed with pullet starter trading at ZMW 155.5 from ZMW 158, grower is now trading at ZMW 143.6 from ZMW 144.5. Developer is trading at ZMW 139 from ZMW 140.33 while Layer Mash is averaging ZMW 142 from ZMW 149.00 per 50kg bag.
According to a 2015 research paper produced by Agri Pro Focus, the poultry industry in Zambia is a critical sector for the national economy which constitutes 4.8% of the agricultural gross domestic product and 48% of the livestock sector. PAZ 2014 annual report reveals that the poultry sector provides direct and indirect employment to 80,000 people with 50,000 in permanent jobs and 30,000 seasonal employees. Poultry production in 2014 reached over 73 million broilers.