ZNFU warns against poultry production drop

THE Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) says the move by some poultry farmers to reduce poultry production to about 40 percent will result in job losses and cut the sector’s contribution to the Treasury.
The union attributed the decline to the continued importation of mechanically deboned meat in the country.
ZNFU second vice-president Graham Rae, who is also managing director for Zambezi Ranching and Cropping Limited, said the current importation of mechanically deboned meat has adversely affected the poultry sector as some farmers are laying off workers.
Mr Rae said this at the stakeholder consultative meeting on fruit, vegetables and livestock products in Zambia recently.
He said there is need for Government to address the issue of the importation of mechanically deboned meat if the sector is to develop.
“Local poultry farmers have dropped production by 40 percent which has led to loss of a lot of taxes and jobs in the sector,” he said.
He also said the drop in production in the sector has affected the soya bean farmers as it is the main ingredient of chicken feed.
And commenting on the importation of fruits and vegetables, Mr Rae said there is need to develop linkages with farmers and buyers to help them find market for their products and grow the sector.
Mr Rae also said there is need to improve the phytosanitary conditions as a measure for the control of plant diseases especially in the agriculture sector and enable the country to remain competitive.
“Lack of linkages in the fruits and vegetables has affected the sector. Therefore, Government needs to develop linkages among buyers and farmers. The sector also needs to be regulated in regard to imports to save the local sector, while considering only importing products which are not produced within,” he said.
He, however, said the sector can only grow if industry rules and training can be put in place to achieve quality control.

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