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Poultry feed production slumps

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Poultry feed production went down by about 23% during the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year, Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairperson Solomon Zawe has said.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Broilers
Broilers

Giving an industry update last week, Zawe said an average of 22 462 metric tonnes worth $13 million was produced each month, adding poultry feeds accounted for 70% of all feeds produced by weight and 74% by monetary value.

“While the price of maize increased by 3% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the last quarter of 2016, the price of solvent extracted soya meal remained the same,” he said.

“Average weighted broiler and layer feed prices in the first quarter of 2017 were $635 and $486/mt, respectively, being 5 and 1% higher than prices in the fourth quarter of 2017.”

He said the number of in-lay layer breeders in the first quarters of 2016 and 2017 were similar. However, breeder chick retentions and growing birds were 59% and 30% lower, respectively, in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

Zawe said demand for broiler meat was negatively affected by the introduction of value-added-tax (VAT) of 15% on meats in February through Statutory Instrument (SI) 20 of 2017.

He said prior to this, broiler meat was zero rated for VAT purposes.

Although this was later changed to VAT exempt through SI 26A of 2017, the industry remained under strain as VAT exemption implied poultry abattoirs cannot reclaim VAT charged on inputs, maintaining upward pressure on cost of production, he said.

In addition, Zawe said the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority has instructed chicken abattoirs to pay VAT on all inputs, including capital investments used in broiler production post SI 26A.

Zawe also said cash shortages continue to curtail demand particularly in the informal live markets where cash sales are the norm.

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