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Years of Poor Maize Harvests Hits Pig, Poultry Sectors

by 5m Editor
16 September 2009, at 8:53a.m.

ZIMBABWE - A decline in maize yields is hampering poultry and pig production.

Low maize yields have negatively affected stock feed manufacturing resulting in decreased poultry and pig production over the past few years, according to a Pig Industry Board official.

The Herald of Zimbabwe reports that low maize yields have negatively affected stock feed manufacturing resulting in decreased poultry and pig production over the past few years, a Pig Industry Board official has said.

PIB advisory officer, Tamo Hove Muza, said the sow herd had decreased to 8,000 from 18,000 due to the feed shortages.

He said pig producers had resorted to survival diets while others had completely stopped production.

"Now that most farmers had meaningful yields last season, the situation has slightly improved," he said.

Mr Muza said the removal of the Grain Marketing Board's monopoly on maize had also resulted in a number of pig producers being able to buy enough grain for stock feeds from fellow farmers.

"The current breeding stock can not meet the demand as many producers now want to produce," said Mr Muza.

The Pig Producers Association was formed recently to work towards addressing issues affecting the pig industry. Mr Muza said the association was formed following the realisation that other sectors of agriculture such as tobacco, dairy and horticulture had associations that advocated for improvement of services.

The Herald reports information from chicken breeder, Hubbard Zimbabwe, indicating that the poultry industry had the capacity to produce one million-day-old chicks per week but was currently operating at 20 per cent of capacity.

Since March this year, Hubbard Zimbabwe started re-building its broiler breeding stocks and this is expected to take 64 weeks before the harvest of the first day-old chicks with the situation expected to improve in the second quarter of 2010.