Poultry Farming Dependent on Feed Cost Reduction

MOZAMBIQUE - Reducing the cost of chicken feed could persaude many farmers who had stopped keeping poultry to return to this activity, according to Emilio Tinga, the chairperson of the Mozambican Association of Poultry Farmers, cited.
calendar icon 28 September 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

The feed accounts for 60 per cent of the cost of raising chickens, said Tinga, so cutting the cost of feed would be a major relief for poultry farmers. Last week the government decided to exempt animal feed from Value Added Tax (VAT). Since VAT is charged at the rate of 17 per cent, this decision should lead to a significant reduction in the price of feed.

Currently imported frozen chickens are cheaper than Mozambican chickens. In a visit to markets and shops, Noticias reporters found that live Mozambican chickens weighing 1.1 kilos were being sold for between 140 and 150 meticais (5.2 to 5.6 US dollars). But an imported frozen chicken of the same size costs between 125 and 130 meticais.

Citing Noticias, AllAfrica.com reports that with the imported chickens seizing their market, many Mozambican poultry farmers, finding it difficult to pay their bank loans, have given up poultry altogether.

Rui Brandao, of the animal feed company Higest, said that Mozambican chickens had been competitive in the first few months of this year, but not any more. There was now an excess of imported chickens, and it had become impossible for the Mozambican farmers to make a profit.

The VAT exemption could save the poultry industry, said Brandao but the final decision on altering the VAT code lies, not with the government, but with the country's parliament, the Assembly of the Republic. The government bill exempting animal feed from VAT goes before the next sitting of the Assembly, scheduled to begin on 24 October.

"If this bill is not passed, that will be the death certificate for the Mozambican poultry industry", warned Mr Brandao.

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