Cost of feed still high despite big harvest – Zambian poultry farmers

Poultry input costs are still high despite the bumper harvest of maize and soya bean. This prompted the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) to appeal to feed manufacturers to cut prices.

“Maize and soya bean are key ingredients in poultry stock feed and we expected prices to come down as a result of the bumper harvest of the two crops,” said Dominic Chanda, PAZ president.

This year’s maize production is pegged at 3.6 million tons, an increase of 25% from last year. Soya bean production increased to 351 000 tons from 267 490.

However, stock feed prices still range between K230 and K250 per 50 kg bag. Earlier, prices hovered around K265 per 50kg. The improvement is attributed to the better performance of the kwacha against the US dollar. It is now trading at K9.20 for US$1 dollar.

PAZ says the high prices have negative implications for local poultry producers, especially broiler production which declined as a result of rising costs. Smallholder producers drive production in Zambia, but a strong and internationally linked poultry industry evolved in recent times.

According to PAZ, this worsened the situation for local producers who must compete with other areas where input costs are relatively low.

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