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Producers Target 70 Million Day-old Chicks

7 March 2012, at 10:13am

ZIMBABWE - The Zimbabwe Poultry Association says it is targeting to produce 72 million day-old chicks this year, up from last 2011's 52 million, as more people now prefer local chickens as opposed to imports.

AllAfrica.com reports that Zimbabwe has a combined hatching capacity of 76 million day-old chicks per annum. Over the years cheap imported chickens have flooded the market elbowing out local producers who encountered high production costs as the country experienced an economic meltdown.

The reintroduction of surtax on chicken and other goods to promote local industry has, however, revived the local industry as imports decline.

ZPA chairperson Mr Solomon Zawe said the 40 per cent rise in the number of day-old chicks was due to the increase in the number of farmers opting to raise chickens following the reduction in production costs brought about by the adoption of multiple foreign currencies. "New players are coming on board; those who sell their tobacco will also want to invest in the sector.

"Generally, farmers now have confidence in poultry production," he said.

Mr Zawe said 35 per cent of the anticipated production would be coming from the small farmers.

Poultry breeding and production in Zimbabwe is commercially based and involves thousands of indigenous producers in the communal farming sector and backyards in urban areas.