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‘Chicken imports could hurt poultry sector’

Posted in Poultry & Fish

ZAMBIA - Allowing the importation of chickens into South Africa from the United States will have negative impact on the Zambian poultry sector, Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) chairperson Rodney Sisala has said.

Currently, South Africa and the United States are involved in a poultry dispute that is threatening trade relationship of the two countries.

There is an agreement in place to allow 65,000 tonnes of annual duty-free poultry imports from the United States into South Africa.

But South African authorities have refused to implement the agreement over fears of an avian influenza outbreak in 15 states. Without those imports, the USA has threatened to exclude South Africa from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which gives African countries tariff-free access to the US market.

Commenting on the matter, Mr Sisala, who is also chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community Poultry Farmers’ Forum, said regional countries are concerned over the matter.

“Of course, we want trade liberalisation because it results in creation of a bigger market, but our concern is that once those US chickens are allowed in South Africa, they will also be found in Zambia and other neighbouring countries.

“We are concerned because the cost of producing chickens in the USA is different to that of Zambia hence our farmers will lose the market and, consequently, cut down production thereby affecting people’s livelihoods,” he said in an interview last week.

Meanwhile, Mr Sisala has commended Chicol Estates Limited, which is an egg production farm, for embarking on organic fertiliser production using chicken droppings.

“One of the challenges we have is how to dispose chicken droppings so this is encouraging to one farmer heading into fertiliser production and once they establish a plant outside the farm estates, many farmers will start supplying them with the droppings,” he said.

December 15, 2015;