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Engage supermarkets, farmers urged

THERE is need to engage supermarkets in Mufulira to start buying poultry products from the local farmers within the district to provide a market for them, a district Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) official has said.
PAZ Mufulira district chairperson Felix Dubeka said marketing is a major challenge being faced by farmers and that their main customers are individuals.
Mr Dubeka said recently that sometimes individuals do not pay on time and this affects the production plans of farmers.
“Most of the chain supermarkets buy from elsewhere. There is need to engage the supermarkets to be buying from the poultry farmers within the district,” he said.
He said better marketing strategies targeting the small-scale poultry farmers need to be developed.
Mr Dubeka said the poultry sector has become one of the fastest-growing industries in the district sustained by increasing demand for poultry products.
“The number of households rearing chickens has increased and this is significantly contributing to creating employment directly and indirectly in the district as well as contributing positively to the economy of the district and the nation at large,” he said.
He also said the district will continue to sensitise its members on the importance of disease control and hold workshops on management and best practices of chicken rearing held in conjunction with allied industries.
On the other hand, the Department of Livestock and Animal Health has been instrumental in combating diseases in the district.
Meanwhile, PAZ Mumbwa district chairperson Billy Banda said farmers in the area are unable to scale-up poultry production due to lack of ready market and cost-associated to inputs.
Mr Banda said there are no processing plants where poultry farmers can take their chickens to add value to their products, hence all of them opt to sell the live birds on the open market, thereby flooding the small market segment.