Govt moves in to save poultry industry

THE government has launched a blitz against illegally imported chicken offals in a bid to protect the local poultry industry after it emerged that butcheries were smuggling the meat into the country, NewsDay has learnt.
Report by Bernard Mpofu

Correspondence seen by this paper shows that the Department of Livestock and Veterinary Services has instructed retail outlets to stop the importation of selected meat products.

The department early this month announced that it had stopped issuing permits for chicken feet, gizzards, necks, pork bones and beef livers to butcheries.

It further instructed meat importers to have proper documentation, which includes a veterinary permit, import declaration issued at the border and a release certificate signed by an official from the Veterinary Department.

“We are working with the ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) to restore sanity on the meat market.”

“Your buyers are advised to procure imported meats and dairy products from importers who have legally imported them,” reads a letter by deputy director veterinary public health, Hardwork Machakwa.

“You are advised forthwith to stop selling smuggled meats in your retail outlets.Your co-operation is key to our success. In future, we are going to name those outlets which demonstrate unwillingness to comply.”

“Habitual offenders will be fined, prosecuted and have their loot confiscated and destroyed at their expense.”

The local market has, until the recent review of duty, been heavily dependent on chicken imports from Brazil, Argentina and South Africa.
Zimbabwe is believed to have been importing chicken cuts in excess of $65 million per month.

Experts say a perennial shortage of grain, which constitutes 65% of the total cost of breeding chickens, has resulted in local poultry producers being largely uncompetitive.

Finance minister Tendai Biti recently announced a new tariff regime for chicken imports to protect the local poultry industry.

He reviewed customs duty from 40% to $1,50 per kg or 40%, whichever is higher, with effect from November 16.

Responding to the new measures, Kingdom Stockbrokers, in its weekly update, said the protectionist policy could boost the poultry industry in the medium to long term.

“Such protectionist measures may provide incentives for some infant farmers for which prospects exist for the domestic farmers to become competitive over the medium to long term,” reads the report in part.

“The only problem with infant industry protection is that it may lead to the promotion of inefficient industries, which otherwise cannot survive without the protection. As the sector stands, one would say with such a government support, the sector is now poised for greater growth.”

“In addition, local consumers are cautious of consuming GMO (genetically modified) foods if they can help it, hence they view such a move with a positive attitude.”

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  1. Lets get serious…65 million dollars worth of offals? This gives a per capita figure of usd 5 dollars per head, serious? This means at least 5 kg per head, right? This figure appears to have been pulled out of someone’s rear? Assuming that an average Zimbabwe household has four people this is 20kgs per household…Get serious! That there are imports of these offals is not in doubt but stop throwing numbers carelessly in this fashion.

    Please reinterrogate the source of this monstrous distortion. If you dont it will be turned into another unfunny song like the 57% industrial capacity utilization. These figures while highly entertaining are no good for anything else!

    1. I dont see anythin surprisin in that figure. I think yu also have a problem in your analysis, for instance were are you getting your 5kg figure from? Learn to analyse issues properly dont just rush to make comments that end up confusing innocent Zimbabweans out there. Your claim on figures doesnt matter now we need solutions Bro. The 57% you talk of also shows your analytical weakness. Figures on Industry capacity utilization are usually published by CZI and they base their claim on a sample which is mainly made up of CZI members. The issue is to give a rough picture of what is happening on the ground, read background information first rather than rushing to critisize.

      1. First the figure of 57% has been disputed by the past president of CZI himself, please try to keep up. Second the figure of 5kg is 65 million dollars divided by estimated Zim population of 13 million people. My view is simply that throwing around sensational numbers to buttress a point is self defeating, rather give us facts not fiction! The solutions you harp on about will disappear into a wisp of smoke if the starting point , also called the base is wrong, NO? Give us correct figures and then we can come up with solutions. Now perhaps as the analyst you have anointed yourself would you care to disagregate the 57% capacity utilization and the names and places where these 65 million dollars worth of offals can be found.

        When you say “confusing innocent Zimbabweans” does this suggest that these same Zimbabweans are idiots who can not tell the difference between fact and unadultarated fiction and you the genius are there to unpack issues for them..Please do not insult our fellowmen in this fashion as they may also hit back..and call you names like…idiot, clowning buffoon and so on..I dont think you would like this…so hey stay with the program.

        1. Oh by the way the 5 dollars are coming from the assumption that the offals are selling for one dollar per kg.

  2. protectionism is a necessary evil that will help revive zimbabwe’s ailing sectors if implemented carefully with financial support and the restoration of regular electriciy supply. even america still uses tarrifs to protect its industries from china but they preach to zimbabwe and other 3rd world countries to open their borders wide,

    1. Well said Bro, we are living in a world were people “speak right and walk left’. Developing countries have been preached about this evil called free trade being beneficial to development. Honestly speaking and as you have said there is NO country in the world that have developed without protecting its industry. Many example include in England during the reign of Edward who banned imports of indian cloth and set the example by wearing English manufactured cloth, the US under Alexander Hamilton is the one behind Infant industry protection. Here we are the same guys then argue to say you need free trade to develop, is it therefore worth to listen to such double tounged people? We need to wake up as developing countries base our economic policies on emperical evidence not abstraction based on theories such as comperative advantage which we kno have many weaknesses. The government really need to use protection (increase tariffs or even embagoes, qoutas) to save this ailing industry and save employment.

  3. I think the Government, if it is serious. Should come with a data base of all local producing companies for food and beverages.
    Dedicate Six Months that no Imported Food Stuffs and Beverages should be found on the shelves. In those 6 months the result would be so tremendous. Employment will shoot. This is a way to push-start the economy.
    BUT as you know, these things are imported by Ministers and dont pay duty. so it wont happen. The reason these ovals are banned is cause, whoever is importing them fell out of favour.

  4. Protectionisim= inefficiency= high consumer cost=


    The core of the problem is destruction of Agriculture.

    The remedy is destruction of markets.

    We are Marxists driving Landcruisers.

  5. The measures layed by the minister of finance appears to be favourable in that they restrict those firms who were now inclined in foreign goods, which promotes imported inflation & discouraging local producers. Now the measures will provide the poultry sector with the confidence they failed to maintain due to the competitive foreign imports. This will also improves a favourable balance of payment of the country. Some of the imported products were of poor quality eg tasteless chicken cuts which are bred with only a purpose of making profits.

  6. The truth is somewhere in the middle, whilst protectionism is, in my opinion, necessary at this point it is not a long term solution as it does indeed harbour inefficiency. However in the greater context local industries must be given the opportunity to get on their feet without their market place being crowded. Protectionism must remain in the medium term and be buttressed with sound policies paying particular attention to GMO policies & recapitalization of local manufactures

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