'Allow more firms to import hatching eggs'

'Allow more firms to import hatching eggs'
Published: 18 October 2017
Zimbabwe's Avian Influenza-ravaged poultry can be revived if Government allows more suppliers to import hatching eggs, players in the sector have said.

Over the past few months, the local poultry industry has been affected by an outbreak of avian influenza (AI) mainly at an Irvines Zimbabwe farm, which has resulted in a reduction in the supply of locally produced fertilized eggs and day-old chicks.

The representative body, the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) - in its submission to Treasury's 2018 Budget Consultations urged Government to review part of Statutory Instrument 124 of 2017.

"Government needs to modify the Schedule contained in Statutory Instrument 124 of 2017 to include import requirements for layer and broiler hatching eggs by hatcheries left out of the original SI such as Superchicks, Sunset Marketing, Pepper Trading and Hukuru Chicks," said LMAC.

"SI 124 of 2017 limits approved importers to Irvine Zimbabwe, Supachicks, Chinyika Chicks, Dr Henn, Allavian and Zimavian. This leaves out a number of registered hatcheries that supply the local market."

The country was hit by two outbreaks of the highly pathogenic bird flu in May and July at Lanark Farm, which is owned by Irvines Zimbabwe.

Resultantly, over 250 000 chickens were culled at Irvine's to stop the spread of the highly contagious bird flu virus. They included 180 000 broiler parent stock and 83 000 layers.

Around the same time, South Africa was hit by 24 outbreaks of the AI since June, which ruled out Zimbabwe's chances of importing chicks from its southern neighbor.

The government has since suspended the duty on imported hatching eggs with SI 124 of 2017. However, shortages of foreign currency has increased premiums on the parallel market leading to increased cost of hatching eggs and day-old chicks.

LMAC said there was an urgent need to address the local poultry industry as its underperformance was also negatively impacting on upstream industries.

"Post avian influenza outbreak, therefore, there is need to address the loss in local poultry productive capacity. This is also important for upstream industries linked to poultry production.

"For example, the reduced poultry production has had a knock-on effect on feed industry which depends on the poultry industry for 71 percent by volume and 74 percent by value of its business."
- bh24
Tags: Eggs,


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