Poultry producer eyes growth

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Broilers

A leading poultry producer in Matabeleland, Drummond Ranching, is projecting a significant growth in the poultry sector by year-end despite an influx of chicken imports currently flooding the market, an official has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Drummond marketing executive Godfrey Mamhiyo told NewsDay in an interview that though the poultry industry was a bit depressed at the moment, they were expecting significant growth by year-end after making inroads in the new markets like Victoria Falls, Midlands and Masvingo.

“The poultry industry is a bit depressed at the moment because there is a lot of competition in and around the country, but we are happy to say in this region, Matabeleland, which is our stronghold and where we have developed, business is good,” Mamhiyo said.

“What has been affecting us is the imported chicken that is coming into the country, some of it as genetically modified food (GMO) and some as Brazilian chicken.”

Mamhiyo said they were producing over 500 000 chickens between their out-growers and in-house production.

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“This is what we do per tenure [six weeks] in and around our three abattoirs. We expect it [end of year] to be the hive of activity because we have expanded our businesses to Victoria Falls, where we have impacted greatly and we are moving into Midlands and targeting Masvingo. We anticipate it, being a peak business period, and we have started feeling it now in August.
Generally, we expect an increase in business,” Mamhiyo said.    

He said there was need for government to continue tightening controls on foreign imports to aid the local industry.

Poultry products mainly from South Africa and Brazil have in recent years flooded the local market amid reports that some food outlets were stocking embalmed chickens.

Broiler meat production in Zimbabwe is estimated at 2 400 tonnes a month against a national demand of 3 500 tonnes.

Drummond Ranching produces about 100 tonnes of broiler chickens per month.

Recently, Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairperson, Solomon Zawe revealed that players in the poultry industry in Zimbabwe have cut chicken prices by 23%, with indications that the market was flooded by cheap imports.

In his Mid-Term fiscal policy review, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said there has been abuse of issued import licences to benefit businesses operated by senior government officials or affiliated business colleagues.

Chinamasa said government was, therefore, implementing a raft of measures to restrict and tighten on the issuance of such import licences in order to ensure transparency and accountability.