May 22, 2009

High feed prices, low demand hit Zambia's poultry output

Zambia's poultry production has plunged 35 percent in the past six months due to a drop in demand and high feed costs.


The poultry industry's production capacity will this year drop to as low as 22 million birds from the estimated 32 million, according to Mathews Ngosa, executive manager of the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ).


Ngosa said most hatcheries in Zambia had either scaled down or temporarily suspended production until feed prices stabilise.


About 70 percent of poultry feed is made of soy, and low yields in 2008 had greatly affected poultry production. This also resulted in prices of chickens and chicken products skyrocketing in the past six months, making the business unsustainable.


The industry may not achieve its export targets for this year until demand and feed prices improve, he said.


Ngosa added it is likely prices of feed ingredients would stabilise, especially with the coming new crop this harvest season.

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