‘Load shedding affecting poultry’

POULTRY Association of Zambia (PAZ) says long hours of electricity load shedding and increased fuel prices are likely to negatively hinder development in the industry.
In its Poultry News bulletin released yesterday, PAZ says the poultry industry, which has already suffered increased input costs over the last six months, is expected to suffer even more if the current conditions persist.
“While industry players are making efforts of investing in alternative sources of power such as the use of generators, the increased fuel prices make this alternative even more costly.
As is always the case when input costs rise, players in the industry may not watch rising fuel costs diminish their overall profit margin or may transfer this cost to consumers, which will lead to an overall increase in the cost of poultry products,” it states.
The association notes that small-scale poultry growers are the most vulnerable in the industry because most of them cannot afford alternative sources of power.
“Power outages are expected to lead to losses especially during the first days where brooding and lighting are critical for poultry. While the economic losses that the industry is facing cannot be quantified, it is certain that most players in the sector are finding it difficult to operate at desired operational capacity,” it notes.
National average price of broilers, layers and village (free-range) chicken has remained static at K34.96, K31.25 and K46.11 respectively.
“This trend might [be revised upwards] if nothing is done to address the negative impact of load shedding, and higher fuel prices, already other sources of proteins such as  beef, fish, pork are highly priced compared to chicken,” PAZ notes.

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