Day-old broiler chicks’ production rises 30pc

Ashton Mutyavaviri

DEMAND for white meat has increased, as consumers become more health conscious while production of day-old broiler chicks congruently rose by 30 percent from 113, 9 million in 2022 to 148, 8 million in 2023.

Livestock Production Department (LDP) director Dr Sitokozile Sibanda said the growth was also attributable to interventions by the Government to promote the poultry industry’s success.

She said the increase in production was a positive sign for the country’s poultry industry, indicating growth and potential for further development.

Broiler meat production increased by nine percent from 191 818 tonnes in 2022 to 209 808 in 2023, added Dr Sibanda.

Poultry farming is a key sector in Zimbabwe’s agriculture industry with the increase in broiler chick production expected to have a positive impact on the country’s overall economic growth.

In line with the production thrust summarised in the National Development Strategy 1 and backed by the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy, the Government has also implemented interventions to protect the local market from cheap imports.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairman Mr Solomon Zawe said producers were able to satisfy the local market during the period under review.

“Things have been good for us, as we have managed to improve our production figures to satisfy the market. There has been some growth in the poultry sector,” he observed.

Mr Zawe said the poultry industry hoped to continue satisfying the market by expanding production.

He, however, highlighted that the cost of production may increase next year if the country’s electricity supply situation remained subdued.

“Poultry producers will be affected heavily by the cost of production, as they will be using diesel-powered generators to support their operations.

“We need electricity for our hatcheries and cold chains, so if the electricity situation remains depressed, production will become costly and this in turn affects the price of chicken on the market,” he said.

The industry has assured farmers of adequate chicks and feed supplies to meet their requirements despite the uncertainty generated by potential water shortages and escalating feed costs.

Mr Zawe said there were enough chicks for farmers but their main challenge was over the possibility of water sources like boreholes drying up, which would negatively affect livestock production.

The Government is however working on a number of interventions to improve the power and water supply situation.

In 2020, the Government approved the Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan (2021-2026), whose main thrust is to put in place solid interventions to address livestock production and productivity issues required for a good foundation for the livestock sector to assume its prominent role in transforming farmers’ livelihoods while providing the required raw materials for agriculture-led industrial development among others.

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