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Poultry gears for inclusive growth

The scope for rural small-scale farmer centric value chain development in poultry, and how this ultimately generates national economic growth, will be the focus of the annual Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) indaba on Wednesday September 19 at ART Farm, Pomona, Harare.

With broiler meat production in Zimbabwe at an all-time high, and egg production also on the rebound following the outbreak of Avian Influenza (AI) last year, the poultry industry is gearing up for further growth and is targeting inclusive value chain development.

“Gearing up for Inclusive Growth” is the theme of the poultry indaba and this full day event of technical sessions will explore opportunities for inclusive value chain development in poultry production, a short-cycle project. It will highlight innovative models already in operation – private sector contract grower schemes and Community Ownership Trust partnerships. Exhibitors will also showcase their poultry stockfeed and animal health products.

“As an industry, we are working to unlock the full potential of poultry to contribute to the national economy through the development of strong, inclusive value chains, incorporating rural farmers”, explains Solomon Zawe, Chairman of ZPA.

Poultry production in Zimbabwe is currently concentrated around urban and peri-urban areas.

“With day old chick production back on stream after AI, our breeder industry can also supply strong, healthy chicks for rural poultry production, to bring income to communities and the rural economy.”

The potential for Community Share Ownership Trusts to generate inclusive growth in poultry, with direct benefits to the rural economy, will be demonstrated at the poultry indaba by Zimplats Mhondoro-Ngezi-Chegutu-Zvimba Community Share Ownership Trust. Here, prudent investment of trust funds into broiler and table egg projects on a contract partnership basis with smallholder farmers, is achieving impressive results.

Sondelani Ranching in Matabeleland, a fine example of private sector driven contract grower partnership, has also been invited to give an overview of its broiler and table egg production outgrower schemes. Sondelani will illustrate how it has identified communities interested in taking up commercial poultry production and forged productive contract partnerships with farmers, which are benefiting rural economies.

Also expected to attract keen interest at the ZPA poultry indaba is an update on Command Poultry, a recent addition to the Command Livestock Programme.

Opportunities offered under Command Poultry, both for poultry grower participation and private sector funding, will be explored.

The first batch of Command Poultry broilers has been produced for the market.

Technical sessions are a key part of the Poultry Indaba and on this year’s programme are presentations on: Feeding for optimal performance in both broilers and layers; Curbing late mortality and how to minimize stress – the silent killer in modern poultry systems.

The “Gearing up for Inclusive Growth” poultry indaba will also look at management challenges in small-scale farming.

Small-scale farmers constitute the large production base of the Zimbabwe poultry industry.

Located mainly in peri-urban areas, around town community markets, the smallholder sector took chicken and egg production in Zimbabwe to new levels between 2012 to 2018, surpassing production in the 1990s.

During this time, chicken overtook beef as the most-consumed meat in the country.

Broiler meat production in Zimbabwe has once again hit record production levels, at a monthly average of 11 644t per month for the second quarter of 2018.

National broiler meat production declined to 7 546t, in the third quarter of 2017 after an outbreak of AI. This increase was driven mainly by the (largely peri-urban) small holder which almost doubled its production of broiler meat (from 4 715t to 8 163t) during this period.

Latest quarterly statistics show continuing recovery in table egg production too, which now stands at 3 million dozen eggs per month, after plummeting to 2,7 million dozen in October 2017.

The small-scale sector achieved the highest production increase (25 percent) over this period and is now producing two million dozen eggs per month – or two out of every three eggs produced in Zimbabwe.

With its breeder capacity now restored after AI to supply day old chicks for broiler and egg production, ZPA is ‘gearing up for inclusive growth’ at every level.

The poultry indaba “Gearing up for Inclusive Growth” is open to everyone interested in poultry.

The one-day event starts with tea and registration at 08.30am and costs $15 per person including teas and a hot lunch.

Join poultry farmers, experts and other stakeholders in an informative day of discussion and networking on poultry production.

Source : The Herald

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