Irvine’s Private Limited, a poultry producing associate of Innscor Africa Limited, said government was unwilling to grant it a licence to export eggs and chickens to the region.
Irvine’s administrative executive David Hasluck said the Harare-based company applied for an export permit in August this year, but has not heard from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development since then.
“I have applied to the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation, Irrigation Development, but nothing has been done about my application.
“My business needs a balance of domestic and regional market.
We need to sell hatching eggs, layers, broilers, parent stocks, which are the birds that lay and hatch eggs, to Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Angola and Nigeria.
“I have orders to supply eggs to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that I am currently sitting on because I do not have a permit to export.
“People should be allowed to export if they have the chickens and good fridges to do so,” Hasluck said.
Contacted for comment on Tuesday, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made said Irvine’s should follow “procedures”.
“There are procedures Irvine’s should follow and they must do just that.
I don’t think they are being honest because there should be nothing wrong in them getting the permit,” Made said.
A permit to export poultry products costs $10 and is issued on a one-consignment basis.
Zimbabwe is currently faced with an acute shortage of poultry products, which has forced government to lift a ban on poultry imports.
Hasluck said Irvine’s, the country’s only licensed producer of the Cobb 500, the world’s leading broiler, has been exporting eggs to the DRC city of Lubumbashi for the past eight years, on a pre-payment basis.
This year, the poultry producer had targeted realising at least $3,2 million from exports.
The company disposed 49% of its shareholding to Innscor Africa in November last year to recapitalise its operations.
It owns a poultry farm in Waterfalls, Harare, with modern egg and chicken plants.
Its chicken plant can produce a total of 160 000 birds per week.
The farm also has a large feed mill with a capacity of producing 900 tonnes of poultry feed per week. Hasluck said the company is currently running at full capacity.