Government Reluctant to Protect Poultry Producers

MOZAMBIQUE - Whatever short term benefits there may be in the government protecting Mozambican poultry producers, in the long term protection is not viable, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Antonio Fernando, claimed on Thursday, because of the impending creation of a southern African free trade area.

He was speaking to reporters during a visit to Higest, one of the main Mozambican producers of chicken feed and day old chicks.

Mozambican poultry farmers are currently facing what they regard as unfair competition which has nothing to do with other southern African producers. The threat takes the shape of Brazilian frozen chickens, vast quantities of which have been dumped on the Mozambican market.

Fernando seemed to imagine that this situation was good for consumers, since the Brazilian chickens are extremely cheap (cheaper than the local produce, and cheaper than chickens imported from South Africa).

Nonetheless, the minister admitted that, if the Mozambican poultry industry collapses, then there will be nothing to prevent sharp increases in the price of imported chickens.

calendar icon 30 March 2005
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