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Bad Times Last Year for Zambian Industry

by 5m Editor
4 May 2010, at 10:03a.m.

ZAMBIA - 2009 was a difficult year for the country's poultry producers as feed prices remained high while sales were flat.

The Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) has said the high cost of feed and low poultry consumption trends, as a result of the economic meltdown, took a severe knock on the industry, bringing it down by 40 per cent, reports Times of Zambia.

According to the annual financial report for 2009, the industry suffered from high transport costs, making intra-trade difficult, as the cost of medium and long-term finance was expensive.

Despite the challenges, chick production was high: 20 million chicks were hatched although only 18.5 million were sold as about 1.5 million chicks died or were destroyed.

The total annual egg production remained relatively stable but not only profitable at 324 million eggs.

The demand for layer pullet chicks dropped by 30 per and so were the pullets in the rearing, according to PAZ.

The association also recorded a decrease in income by 30 per cent from the Poultry Development Fund (PDF) compared to 2008 as a result of reduction in day-old chicks being sold nationwide.

The report states that income was down by 12 per cent compared to 2008.

The budgeted deficit from PDF income was supplemented with an increase by 40 per cent in members' subscriptions.

"As with many businesses in Zambia, 2009 has been a difficult year for PAZ and the poultry industry as a whole with production costs recording an all time high," the report says.

Times of Zambia reports that in 2009, the availability of raw materials failed short of meeting the industry needs and it caused an upswing in the cost by 100 per cent.

The stock feed industry uses close to 10 per cent of the maize needs of the nation and 80 per cent of the soybean production.

The increase in domestic demand for maize and soybean raised the prices of the two commodities to the detriment of the industry.