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Poultry Imports Halted as Self-Sufficiency Reached

by 5m Editor
1 September 2011, at 9:36am

SWAZILAND - The country is self-sufficient in eggs and chicken, according to the Minister of Agriculture.

Even though the country is struggling to produce enough in the agricultural sector, which has resulted in the importation of most consumables including vegetables, it is self-sufficient in terms of broilers and eggs, reports Swazi Observer.

Minister of Agriculture, Clement Dlamini, explained that the country stopped imports of eggs and chickens because it was producing enough.

He said: "We no longer import broilers and eggs because we produce enough to satisfy the domestic market."

Farmers who produce poultry and eggs include Valley Farm and Eagle's Nest.

Mr Dlamini urged farmers to adopt commercial farming practices in order to produce more to supply the export market. He explained that the country was privileged to access export markets such as Norway and the European Union (EU), which takes the country's beef.

However, it was reported that the country was failing to satisfy these markets and the minister urged farmers to breed more cattle. He said this was because the country was kept at a disease-free status in terms of animal diseases.

The Minster continued: "I would like to urge local livestock farmers to rear more livestock in order to take advantage of the available markets overseas."

Swaziland has successfully fought foot and mouth disease and was, at the beginning of the year, declared free of the disease once again by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE). This was after the disease was discovered along the country's border with South Africa and Mozambique.

Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Dr Robert Thwala said under the commercialisation and diversification programme which was launched at Ekukhanyeni a couple of months ago, they encouraged maximisation of both crop and livestock products.

He said they aimed to promote animal health status of the national stocks and market access, according to Swazi Observer.

Dr Thwala added: "Keeping our animals disease free will give us a competitive advantage to access markets that other countries cannot access."