ZAMBIA – The Poultry Association of Zambia has urged stock feed processors to provide a relief to the poultry industry through reduction in prices of stock feed following a bumper harvest recorded on soybeans and maize.

In an interview on Tuesday, Association executive manager Dominic Chanda said average prices of stock feed last ranged between K245 per 50kg bag to K265 of similar quantity.

“The prices are now trending between K195 and K225 per 50kg bag but this is due to stable foreign exchange that has seen the Kwacha to trade at K9.20 per US dollar for several months.

“Maize and soybeans are key ingredients into poultry stock feed and this anticipated bumper harvest will create relief for the poultry industry if the producers reduce prices,” he said.

During the peak period, the poultry industry consumes close to half of this year’s soybean production (351,416 metric tonnes).

“It has to be noted that global soybean production is expected to reach the new records of 330 million tonnes which should be sufficient to supply global and southern African demand,” he said.

Last month, Government announced results of the crop forecast survey for the 2016/17 farming season.

The results indicate that the country will record a bumper harvest in almost all the crops.

Maize production is anticipated to increase by 25.53 percent from 2,873,052 to 3,606,549 metric tonnes in the 2016/17 growing season.

Soybean is poised to record a bumper harvest of up to 31.38 percent increase from 267,490 metric tonnes to 351,416mt in 2016/17.

Despite the increase in metric tonnes, it was reported that national yield rate for soybeans reduced by 17.33 percent from 1.8 metric tonnes per hectare to 1.52 metric tonne per hectare.

On the other hand, the area planted increased by 58.91 percent from 145,763 hectares to 231,630 hectares.

The crop forecast survey also indicates that soybean production among small-scale farmers increased from 65,304 metric tonnes in the 2015/16 season to 150,995 metric tonnes representing a 131 percent increase in production.

June 29, 2017: Daily Mail