ZAMBIA – Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) president Rodney Sisala says members are elated by Government’s assurance to guarantee them shelf space on all major supermarkets countrywide.

Speaking in an interview yesterday, Mr Sisala said the poultry industry faces high production costs and unattractive prices for their produce.

“Lately, we have gone through a lot of challenges in poultry production and yet the pricing of the produce has not significantly increased. Poultry production is like a loss,” Mr Sisala said.

Poultry farmers in Lusaka and Chibombo are happy with government assurance.

Speaking in separate interviews, Mrs Precious Nkausu of Lusaka’s Ten Miles said Zambia’s poultry industry is threatened by cheap imports that find their way in most major supermarkets countrywide.

“The same is true for crops like vegetables, whose price keeps reducing because of the influx of imported vegetables from the neighboring countries. This is not good for both emerging farmers, and will have a falling negative effect on the economy,” Mrs Nkausu said.

Mrs Nkausu said despite the high cost in producing poultry products, farmers still have to struggle to find market.

“Feed for poultry is expensive and even when we invest in the feed hoping to get the returns at the end of it all, we get losses. I am glad government will soon come to our rescue,” Mrs Nkausu said.

Another poultry farmer of Lusaka’s Makeni Konga area, Basil Chileshe, says the assurance from government is long overdue following the market struggles that the emerging poultry farmers have been subjected to for some time.

Mr Chileshe said most of the emerging poultry farmers countrywide are forced to sell their products at low prices resulting in meagre, if any, profits.

Mr Chileshe said there is need to improve the market access and this will in turn improve the production systems.

Last week Minister of Agriculture Dora Siliya said that Government will ensure the local poultry industry is guaranteed shelf space in all major supermarkets in the country.

Ms Siliya said she would also help the local poultry farmers to access foreign markets.

She has called for a stakeholders meeting this week on Tuesday for the Poultry Association of Zambia, Zambia Revenue Authority and ministries of Finance, Livestock and Commerce to find a lasting solution to the high cost of feed.

February 5, 2017;