Poultry meat production down 10 percent

Poultry meat production down 10 percent
The industry is currently recovering from the outbreak of the flu.

The industry is currently recovering from the outbreak of the flu.

NATIONAL broiler production declined by 12 000 tonnes last year to 106 000 tonnes from 118 000 tonnes the previous year, a 10,2 percent drop, the Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) has indicated.
Data on poultry trends presented last month during ZPA’s first meeting for 2018 showed that small-scale production declined from 82 000 tonnes in 2016 to 71 000 tonnes in 2017.
“Large-scale production of broiler meat declined marginally from 36 000 tonnes in 2016 to 35 000 in 2017. Over the same period, day-old chick production declined from 75 million to 69 million,” the association said.
Zimbabwe has been certified avian influenza free by the World Organisation for Animal Health after an outbreak of the virus at Irvine’s-owned Lanark Farm in Harare, were 795 000 birds were culled last year to contain the disease.
The industry is currently recovering from the outbreak of the flu, with producers importing hatching eggs from South Africa under a government supported recovery programme that has seen duty on the imports suspended.
“The impact of avian influenza is apparent in (the) declining national egg production. The outbreak in breeder layer flocks in mid-2017 led to a crash in the egg market last year,” said the organisation.
In 2017, table egg production declined dramatically and this significantly contributed to increased retail prices for eggs in late 2017.
“The drop in egg production is most pronounced in the small-scale sector, which recorded a 30 percent decline after producing 21 million dozen eggs in 2017. Small-scale breeders now account for 55 percent of national egg production. Large-scale egg production declined by some 22 percent last year, totalling 17 million dozen,” ZPA said.
Production of day-old layer chicks declined to 1,7 million in 2017, its lowest in five years.
The meeting observed that a strategy by the industry to focus on re-building breeder capacity to ensure continued self-sufficiency in the production of poultry meat and eggs was paying off.
Going forward, the next step of building capacity in the poultry industry would be to focus on importation of grandparent and parent stock by breeders, the producers said.
“The breeder industry, the nucleus of the poultry industry, produces genetically strong and healthy day-old chicks for the industry, mainly made up of smallholder broiler and egg producers” they said.
In 2018, the poultry breeder industry will also focus on producing more hatching eggs once again, to reduce reliance on imports.
Gains made in 2016 were lost following the avian flu outbreak, when hatching eggs had to be imported to rebuild poultry capacity and maintain a supply of day-old chicks on the market,” ZPA added.
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