Demand for Chickens Still High09 January 2013
ZAMBIA - The Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) says hatcheries are still struggling to meet the surge in festival seasonal demand for chickens despite the increased production of broiler chicks.
According to Zambia Daily Mail, PAZ executive manager Mathew Ngosa said the country has excess hatching eggs but hatching space has become limited due to closure of most of the small hatcheries.
“This situation has forced the major hatcheries to commit huge resources in the expansion initiatives in order to fill the gap left by the closure of the small hatcheries,” he said.
Mr Ngosa said contrary to reports alleging that there is under-production of chicks, what is true is that the hatcheries are under produce.
He said the reduction in breeder flock size has created under-production because the breeders make money through the sale of day-old chicks.
He said the demand for dressed chicken has increased due to shortage and high prices of beef on the domestic market.
Zambia’s average poultry meat consumption currently stands at 7.5 per annum and contributes 42 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Ngosa said about 60 million broiler chicks have been produced this year with production mainly dominated by small-scale producers contributing 60 per cent to the total broiler production.
He said the poultry industry has significantly grown and is the largest livestock sector in Zambia.
He said there has been expansion in the breeder sector with the number of hatcheries in the country totaling to eight.
“For the year 2012, broiler processed per week within the industry stand at around 517,000 with a good number of chickens being sourced from small-scale producers or from the open markets,” he said.
Compared with the rest of the livestock sector, the poultry industry in Zambia has become more scientific, better organised and continuously progressing towards modernisation.
“White meat consumption in Zambia has relatively improved, largely due to devastation of the beef industry by disease and restricted beef supply resulting in high cost per kg of beef,” he said.
He said the average white meat prices, are much lower compared with average red meat prices which are currently at K32,000 per kg for standard and K42,000 per kg Choice.
The average chicken prices range between K14,500 to 15,500 per kg.