ZAMBIA - The poultry industry in Zambia has continued to face high feed costs, which are putting margins under pressure in almost all sectors in the industry, but feed producers are now responding.
Since 2015, price and profitability swings have become an ongoing issue for the industry and broiler farmers in particular lack the ability to pass on feed costs, the Poultry Association of Zambia has reported.
This has led to a reduction in the number of birds being produced, especially by small scale farmers, since continuing with the same level of production requires increased financial investment. It is expected that this has an impact on both day old chick sales as well as day old chick production.
Some of the poultry feed producers have responded by introducing different feeds with lower specifications alongside the feeds that are already known on the market.
These new feeds that have a cheaper combination of ingredients are being sold at lower prices and therefore give farmers a cheaper option as far as feeding birds is concerned. Farmers have been advised that the performance of the birds will not be the same when using feed with lower specifications.
While using cheaper rations for feed production enables feed producers to sell cheaper feed, there may be differences in the length of time it takes to reach marketable weight when using this type of feed compared to the feed the market is already used to.
Regardless of the technical details of this development, the Association said it can be agreed that continued production using alternative feed rations is better than a cut back in production or seeing farmers pull out of the industry.
The introduction of these cheaper feeds has therefore been seen by many as a sign that feed producers are also thinking of ways to ensure that poultry feed is made affordable to farmers.ThePoultrySite News Desk