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Zimbabwe 'to produce 72 million day-old chicks’

The Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) has said that it plans to produce 72 million day-old chicks this year, up from 52 million in 2011

According to news agency, New Ziana, the ZPA said that the increase was due to more people now preferring local chickens rather than imports. Zimbabwe has a combined hatching capacity of 76 million day-old chicks per annum.

Cheap imported chickens flooded the market in recent years which was to the detriment of local producers who encountered high production costs as the country experienced devastating economic problems. The reintroduction of surtax on chicken and other goods to promote local industry has, however, revived the local industry as imports decline.

ZPA chairperson, Solomon Zawe, said the 40 per cent rise in the number of day-old chicks was due to the increase in the number of farmers opting to raise chickens following the reduction in production costs brought about by the adoption of multiple foreign currencies.

“New players are coming on board; those who sell their tobacco will also want to invest in the sector,” he said. “Generally, farmers now have confidence in poultry production.”

Zawe said 35 per cent of the anticipated production would be coming from small farmers. Poultry breeding and production in Zimbabwe is commercially based and involves thousands of indigenous producers in the communal farming sector and backyards in urban areas.