Zimbabwean government suspends import duty on fertilized eggs to boost production

ZIMBABWE – The government of Zimbabwe has suspended import duty on fertilised eggs for a period of six months in a bid to boost the country’s poultry sector.

According to reports by Chronicle, demand for day-old chicks in the country declined significantly and production dropped by 28 percent between the first and second quarters of 2020, impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

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But according to the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC), the poultry business is opening up again and demand is steadily increasing.

“The import of hatching eggs is therefore necessary to alleviate the short supply and ensure availability of day-old chicks going into the festive season, where demand is usually the highest,” said LMAC.

The suspension of duty will, however, only apply to nine registered breeders and will subsist for six months between October 1 and March 31 next year, reports The Herald.

Up to 10 million eggs are expected to be shipped with each of the nine breeders having a specific quota with which they can import duty free.

Irvine’s Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, a subsidiary of Innscor Africa Limited and the country’s largest day-old chick breeders, has been accorded the biggest quota under the import scheme and will be allowed to ship in 4.11 million eggs.

The second largest quota has been given to Twowork Enterprises t/a Supachick who will be allowed to import 1, 826 million eggs.

The other beneficiaries are Hukuru Chicks Limited, Charles Stewart Day Old Chicks Limited, Sondelani Ranching Co., Kudu Creek Farm Limited, Zim Avian Limited, Doctor Henn Investment Limited and Chinyika Day Old Chicks.

“The import of hatching eggs is therefore necessary to alleviate the short supply and ensure availability of day-old chicks going into the festive season, where demand is usually the highest.”

Livestock and Meat Advisory Council

A total of 74-million-day-old broiler chicks were produced last year reflecting, a 19 percent decline from the 91 million chicks produced in 2018.

The decrease was attributed to the high costs of production that saw many farmers either scale down operations or temporarily close shop to escape losses largely due to issues to do with high cost of stockfeed.

However, there was an estimated 24 percent increase in table egg production recorded in 2019 i.e. 50.4 million dozen compared to 36.4 million dozen the previous year.

Broiler day-old chick production averaged 6.2 million chicks a month with a total annual production of 74 million in 2019.

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