Locadia Mavhudzi Midlands Correspondent
A shortage of day-old chicks has hit Gweru with small to medium-scale poultry producers being the most affected. There have been long queues at day-old chicks agent shops as producers tried to place their orders. Some farmers said they booked for chicks some three weeks back, but they are yet to receive them.
Mr Mahari, a small-scale chicken producer in Gweru, said the shortages could negatively affect his business, especially during the festive season, where demand is expected to rise. Zimbabwe Poultry Association secretary Mrs Sharon Beffa said the sector has not recovered from the effects of the Avian flu virus.
“There has been an extensive decline in the business since the sector was hit by Avian flu early this year. We started experiencing a shortage in the supply of day-old chicks. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 Avian flu virus in Zimbabwe has had detrimental effects on chicken farmers and all those who depend on chicken projects are still to find their feet,” she said.
Mrs Beffa said culling of the parent stock at the country’s largest chick producer, Irvine’s, had resulted in a shortage of day-old chicks.