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Zambia Able to Meet Growing Local Demand

by 5m Editor
16 March 2012, at 8:13am

ZAMBIA - The Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) has castigated Government over plans to allow the importation of chickens, saying it posed serious treats to the growth of the local sector.

According to Times of Zambia, reports said Government through the ministry of Agriculture and Livestock had granted an importation permit to Shoprite Checkers and Wall-Mart owned by game stores.

PAZ executive manager Mathews Ngosa said the sector was doing very well in terms of production which he said was able to meet the growing demand on the local market.

Speaking in an interview in Lusaka, Mr Ngosa said the move was retrogressive to the chicken producers and the sector as a whole and that, it would have a negative impact not only on the poultry industry, but also on the milling companies, hatcheries and soya beans producers, among others.

“For us as an association we feel betrayed and our members look at it as a move meant to injure and ‘kill’ and the industry, giving such permits shows that some one at the ministry does not understand the dynamics of the local sector, it abilities and importance it has to the local and national development,” he said.

The sector which has posted positive growth in the recent past, recorded growth of about 20 per cent in 2010 and more than 25 per cent last year with the current production of broilers standing at about 40 million from 18 million in 2009.

He said the sector had strived to reach levels where it was now and that decision could easily destroy it hence, making all the efforts go to waste.

There was an urgent need for the local industry to be protected from vices which can impact negatively on the country’s economic growth.

Mr Ngosa noted that in as much as the sector is faced with a number of challenges, the industry had continued to post growth, adding that poor policy direction, high cost of stock feed and lack of legislation were the major impediments in the sector.

He said there as need for the ministry to work out a tangible policy framework that would support local producers and would provide clear understanding of the livestock sector in the country.

The poultry sector has been one of the major industries that contributed to the creation of job opportunities across the country and those that directly benefit from the sector will be affected in terms of income generation levels and other developmental ventures.