September 15, 2020


South Africa's poultry production shows moderate growth during pandemic


The production of South African poultry increased by 5% during the first eight months of 2020, when compared to the same period last year, the South African Poultry Association reported during the second Poultry Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) virtual meeting.

This is despite the challenges to the operating environment brought on by COVID-19.

The meeting was co-chaired by South Africa's Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, and Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza. It reflected on the implementation of key actions agreed and measures required to realise a common vision for the South African poultry sector.

A crucial component of those efforts is the Poultry Sector Master Plan, which was signed by stakeholders at the 2019 South African Investment Conference in November last year. The plan has been developed in close partnership between the government and a number of stakeholders in the industry, including poultry producers, processors, exporters, importers and organised labour.

The objectives of the Poultry Master Plan hinge on increasing local chicken consumption and growing the demand for chicken, while also addressing the exporting of locally produced cooked and raw chicken products.

Poultry producers have pledged to invest R1.7 billion (US$102.3 million) towards the expansion and improvement of productive capacity. Some investment projects have already been completed including the expansion of hatchery and processing facility and the creation of 428 jobs.  In addition, the financing model for contract farming has been developed to assist in assessing the producer's business viability and profitability.

To drive exports, South Africa's poultry industry has strategically prioritised countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar for export of poultry products. In addition, the industry will  target markets which include SADC countries and those within the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and the Middle East.

The poultry industry is an important part of the South African agricultural sector.  The masterplan provides a blueprint for the industry with substantial potential to expand the poultry production across the value chain, especially if substantial export markets can be developed.

Since the master plan was signed, the government has implemented higher tariffs on certain cuts of poultry, and has further triggered an investigation into the structure of tariffs to provide a more effective trade environment for poultry. Further work has also been done with trading partners to improve compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures which would unlock more export markets. 

- APO Group

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