Zimbabwe’s poultry production set to rebound in 2021 after decline

Zimbabwe’s poultry production this year is expected to rebound from a decline in 2020 due to a successful crop season.

Output is estimated to increase to 156,078 tonnes this year, according to Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, representing a five percent increase, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported.

FILE PHOTO: Hens sit in a chicken shed. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Official data showed a 2.5 percent reduction in day-old chicks production from 73.4 million to 71.4 million which consequently led to a 2.45 percent drop in meat production.

“The progressive increase in female parent stock since the second quarter of 2020 also gives impetus for improved poultry production in 2021,” Ncube said.

Local poultry farmers, especially small-scale farmers who account for majority of poultry output, have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity and ensure thorough disinfection to prevent any possible outbreak of Avian influenza into the country.

There are concerns of increased smuggling of poultry products into the country at a time when the southern Africa region is experiencing avian flu dangers.

In March, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) warned African countries of a highly pathogenic avian flu following a surge in reports of detections of the disease in wild birds across Europe.

In June, Botswana banned the importation of live poultry and poultry products from South Africa after an outbreak of avian influenza was detected in commercial farms and compartments in a number of provinces.

The ban came almost two months after the Botswana government revised a similar sanction against its neighbour.

Botswana and other neighbouring countries imposed a similar ban on poultry products from South Africa in 2017 following an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain of avian flu.

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