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Certified Soya Shortage Worries ZNFU

29 December 2011, at 2:56pm

ZAMBIA - The Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has said lack of certified soybeans in the country is affecting the production of the crop. The union said this has, in turn, affected the poultry industry.

ZNFU president Jervis Zimba told AllAfrica that the country had witnessed an increase in the demand for poultry feed largely due to the increase in chicken and pig rearing but that demand had not matched the availability of certified soya beans seed.

He said the increase in production levels of soya beans was also constrained and it was important that a lasting solution was found quickly.

"Farmers have taken up the challenge of growing soya beans but have been constrained by limited availability of certified soya beans seed.This has led to farmers having to resort to planting uncertified seed," Mr Zimba said.

While Zambia posts heavy bumper harvests in maize, it produces just about enough soya beans whose intake by pigs and chickens has been on the rise and usually runs out of the feed before the soya beans harvesting period.

Mr Zimba said the private sector had not responded favourably towards growing of soya beans and the acquisition of certified seed that would boost production and guarantee high yields.

While highlighting the constraints of the poultry industry, Mr Zimba said it was the best performing in the livestock sub-sector. He hinted that demand for stock feed would increase.

He said the livestock sub-sector was generally lagging in production which had been heightened by the increase in protein for beef animals over the last one year.

Meanwhile, the ZNFU says there was need for Government to look at ways of reducing costs in the agricultural sector so that locally grown goods could be competitively priced.