GLOBAL - The Tanzanian poultry industry is the latest in Africa to receive a boost from the United States, following a visit to the east African country by the chairman of the United States Grains Council at the end of last year to spearhead the setting up of an association of growers as well as the establishment of a poultry feed-testing laboratory, reports Tawanda Korombo for ThePoultrySite.
This is expected to boost the industry and capacitate producers, who include grass-roots growers to enhance their productivity and better access to lab testing services for their feeds. Poultry producers across Africa are seeking cheaper ways of cutting their feed-stock prices, with experts and other consultants now working together with growers in Tanzania.
"What we’re doing is really grass-roots kind of stuff here. We’ve set up a feed-testing lab and helped develop a poultry growers association,” said Alan Tiemann who visited the country under a poultry project being undertaken in partnership with the United States Grains Council.
Another African country that has made progress with local growing of poultry animals is Ghana, which has registered a decline in imported poultry products. This comes as other African countries are battling chicken imports from neighbours and from other countries such as Brazil and the United States.
Ghana’s Deputy Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr Hanna Abissiw said this month that Accra had taken a deliberate decision to lower poultry imports into the country, a decision that was helping local producers grow capacity through enhanced access to markets.
She said: "What we have done is to cut the importation by 30 per cent. Every study shows that importation has gone down drastically and not many people are bringing in chicken these days. People are bringing in more of pig feet or cow legs."
The west African country now has a local chicken patronage of about 100,000 per month.
Further afield, South Africa is locked in a rush to meet a deadline imposed by the United States to allow chicken imports into the continent’s number two economy after Nigeria at a time when neighbouring Zimbabwe has reported a rise in illegal chicken imports from SA.
While the chicken import segment into Africa is mixed, the notable export market of Iraq extended bans on frozen and live poultry products to include South Africa, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Libya and Burkina Faso. This has been precipitated by fears over potential escalation in outbreaks of bird flu that was recorded earlier this year in some parts of Africa.
“The import of poultry and birds of all kinds… as well as both types of eggs (table and hatching), feathers and all products that use poultry or their products… is prohibited,” the Iraqi government said in a notice.
South Africa is being urged to avoid a potential fall-out with the United States as failure to open up for US poultry imports will result in the US shutting agricultural exports by SA to the world number one economy. This would not only affect South Africa but its neighbours as well.
The Swaziland poultry industry is equally in a quandary, with Agriculture Minister, Moses Vilakati, saying producers there will battle with US products that are mass produced and hence are cheaper. Swaziland is a big trade partner with South Africa and Swaziland poultry producers also distribute their produce in the SA market which is lucrative.
“This would be a huge setback to the industry that we have worked hard to resuscitate, as overtime this dumping would push domestic producers out of the market. We will be faced with a price squeeze, both internally and on our exports to countries like Mozambique,” he said.
The Swaziland commercial poultry sector is valued at over 200 million Euros and runs on a production capacity that is steadily rising, according to producers there. In regional neighbour, Zambia, poultry producers are beating drought conditions and incessant power cuts that earlier threatened production.
The southern African country reported this month that the broiler industry had registered a 4 per cent production rise in 2015. According to figures availed by the Poultry Association of Zambia output of broiler chicks increased to 78 million, from the 73.9 million produced in 2014.