Small scale poultry farmers face resource and market constraints

Women in small scale poultry production say processing and marketing of their products are hampering the development of the sector.

‘We have realized that one of the biggest challenges that we are facing is the issue of processing of chickens. If we are afforded finances and access to the makert are able to deliver. You notice that the country is importing chickens at a time we are producing, but failing to aces the market. At least 65% of day old chicks is being bought by small scale farmers who lack resources of processing them thereby starving the formal market .We are not saying the government should ban chicken imports but it should protect local producers first’, Zimbabwe Women Poultry and Livestock Farmers  Executive Director Teverai Chigogo-Nhapi  told reporters in Harare Wednesday evening.

Mrs Chigogo Nhapi said they have organised conference which will see stakeholders discussing issues affecting the poultry industry.

‘As an organization we have decided to hold a conference on the 21st of November where we want to look into issues related to value chain in the poultry industry. We are saying as a nation if we have 65%of the stake going to people who cannot access the market what are we saying?  So we need to come up with resolutions on how best we can take that 65% and bring it into the formal market’, she added.

Mrs Chigogo Nhapi complained that government was prioritizing foreign chicken imports at a time locals were failing access the market.

‘To us it is really an issue to say someone in Brazil is busy growing chickens right now knowing there is a ready market in Zimbabwe and yet somebody next door cannot sell the same chickens to the same market .Even if you look at the pricing you notice that most people rush to the imports because they are cheaper but we are also saying honestly how can you grow a chicken here and fail to sell it to a shop next door?’She questioned.

According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe is spending over US$65 million every month on chicken imports yet there are thousands of small scale poultry producers struggling to access the market.

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