Day-old chicks demand spikes
Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE demand for day-old chicks is on the rise and the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) is advocating for the importation of hatching eggs to boost supply ahead of the festive season.
In a latest update, LMAC said a request for temporary suspension on duty for fertilised eggs imported from outside the Sadc region has been tabled with the authorities as production has declined by 28 percent between the first and second quarter of the year.
“As a result of the impact of prevailing macro-economic conditions and Covid-19 response measures, demand for day-old chicks declined significantly and production dropped by 28 percent between the first and second quarters of 2020,” it said.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, Zimbabwe and the rest of the world embarked on national lockdown measures to curb the spread of the deadly viral disease.
The respiratory infection was first detected in China last December before it plagued the world. To date, close to one million people across the globe have succumbed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As the poultry business opens up again, the 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.
Meanwhile, 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 (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. — @okazunga