BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Zimbabwe’s poultry industry recorded a 32% jump in output, producing 90,8 million day-old chicks in 2018, the highest since 2014.
Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairperson, Solomon Zawe told NewsDay that 2018 was “so good” and they recovered well from the Avian Influenza outbreak which hit the sector hard in 2017.
“The year 2018 was so good. We recovered well from the influenza and produced almost 92 million day-old chicks. We produced almost 14 000 tonnes (of chicken) by end of December. The poultry industry is one of the sectors that have improved part of our hard conditions,” Zawe said.
Poultry production has steadily increased since 2009 when farmers produced 12,9 million, then 37,5 million in 2010, 52,1 million in 2011, 55,1 million in 2012. In 2013 production then jumped to 64,4 million to reach 78,4 million the following year. In 2015 and 2016 production declined to 75,9 million and 78,8 million, respectively.
In 2017, production further plummeted to 68,9 million due to the Avian Influenza disease outbreak.
“We have got stock to last us long. The price of the product is high in the supermarket because of the market forces that we cannot control. We aim to hit more than 100 million this year provided we get enough soyabeans.
“We are worried about the drought…we are already getting less soyabeans to get to soya meal and those guys who are doing imports are not getting enough forex to import. So the stockfeed industry is going to play a big role for the growth of the poultry industry,” he said.
Breeding stocks have recovered to levels before the outbreak of Avian Influenza and in the fourth quarter of 2018 broiler breeder stocks (growing and in-lay) averaged 636,193 birds per month, which is 37% up on fourth quarter of 2017, he added.
Hatching egg production from local broiler breeders averaged 7,9 million per month in the fourth quarter of 2018, resulting in a decline on the demand for imported hatching eggs.
“Therefore, total hatching eggs put through local hatcheries averaged 10,1 million per month in the fourth quarter, 6% down on third quarter, but 23% higher than the fourth quarter of 2017. The resultant day-old broiler chick production averaged 8 million per month in the fourth quarter, 3% higher than the third quarter and 25% higher than the fourth quarter of 2017,” Zawe said.
The price of chicks in the fourth quarter increased by 55% to $165 per 100 chicks compared to the third quarter.
He further indicated that the layer breeding industry witnessed tremendous growth in the last half of 2018 on the back of continued breeder investments.