THE egg-producing industry tumbled by 26% to 21 million dozen of eggs in the first half of the year after small-scale producers slowed down production, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairperson Solomon Zawe said egg production suffered tremendously in the first half of 2017, with small-scale producers recording a 40% decline in production compared to the same period last year.
“The number of layer birds in-production in the large-scale poultry sector during the first half of 2017 was marginally higher (1%) than the same period in 2016. However, table egg production during the period was 2% lower at an average of 1.75 million dozen per month,” Zawe said.
“The situation was more severe in the small-scale producer sector where average egg production in the first half of 2017 was 40% lower than in the same period of 2016. As a result, the national average table egg production was only 3,5 million dozen per month during the first half of 2017 compared to 4,7 million dozen in the same period of 2016,” he said.
Zawe said this was reflected in the increased wholesale prices which averaged $3,56 per tray during the first half of 2017 compared to $3,17 per tray during the same period of 2016.
He said the number of in-lay layer breeders in the first half of the year were 13% lower than during the same period of 2016.
While growing breeder layers were the same during the first halves of 2016 and 2017, retained breeder chicks placed were 43% higher during the first half of 2017, signalling a positive response by breeders to boost layer production following precipitous declines in table egg production experienced in late 2015 to 2016, Zawe said.
He said the in-lay breeder stock declined between the first halves of 2016 and 2017 is reflected in an 18% decline in locally produced layer hatching eggs.
The 22% increase in imported hatching eggs between the two periods were inadequate to bridge the gap, leading to a 16% decline in total layer hatching eggs put through local hatcheries, he said.
“However, chick production had shown a marginal increase of 4% while chick price had firmed from $117 per 100 chicks in the first half of 2016 to $124 in the first half of 2017,” Zawe said.