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Great Start to African Egg Seminar

20 September 2013

ZAMBIA - A two day seminar on increasing egg production across Africa has commenced with government representatives, veterinarians and producers present in Lusaka to hear about expansion.

The seminar has been organised by the FAO and IEC to enable representatives from these nine Southern African countries to meet with FAO experts and egg industry representatives from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the U.S.A to discuss ways and opportunities for development and challenges facing the egg industry in their countries and to share expertise and best practices.

The Hon. Lackson S. Kazabu, Zambia’s Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, delivering the opening remarks at the event, remarked that while egg consumption is over 200 eggs per person per year in the Western countries, it is only about 50 eggs in the region. He therefore challenged the participants to share experiences and discuss ways to boost egg consumption in the Southern African region.

Mr. Okech, FAO Representative in Zambia welcomed the participants and highlighted the importance of information sharing among the countries in Southern Africa. He said that the role of eggs for a balanced nutrition needs to be further enhanced and that the cooperation between FAO and the private sector is an important contribution to that.

The aim of the seminar is to help with the development of producer organizations and to share best practices for increasing capacity throughout the region. In addition to discussing the current developments within their own countries, attendees at the seminar also heard presentations by speakers from the U.S.A, Canada, Australia and South Africa and from FAO.

Dr Mitch Kanter from the Egg Nutrition Center, U.S.A, shared the latest research material about the nutritional value of eggs, explaining that eggs provide most of the essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy, balanced diet. During his presentation, Dr Kanter referred to eggs as “nature’s vitamin pill”.

Attendees also heard from James Kellaway from Australia’s egg association, Kevin Lovell from South Africa’s egg association, and Fred Krahn from Canada’s egg association, as they shared some examples of how their country associations communicate with consumers and medical professionals to promote the benefits of eggs.

Delegates then spent the afternoon discussing in detail some of the specific challenges that egg producers face in Southern Africa, as well as the global issues affecting industries across the world, including housing systems and feedstuff.

Dr Thieme from FAO presented results from an economic analysis of small commercial egg producers in Africa and showed their role and contribution to food security and employment.

The Capacity Building seminar in Lusaka is the first initiative of this kind between the FAO and IEC; the response to date has been extremely positive, and the two organisations hope to generate enough support to enable them to roll out a programme of similar seminars in other regions of the world.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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