Zambia has recorded an increase in poultry exports, says the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ).
This is mainly due to the country being free of the highly contagious avian influenza (H5N8) that has affected the region.
Dominic Chanda , PAZ executive manager, says Zambia has managed to capture markets previously dominated by South Africa, one of the countries affected by the highly pathogenic avian flu, commonly known as bird flu.
“We want to take advantage of this and ensure that we dominate these markets even when our competitors recover from effects of the outbreak,” Chanda said.
Chanda said Zambian poultry producers have also been buoyed by a reduction in stock feed prices.
“The local poultry sector is heading in a positive direction and further growth is expected this year,” he said.
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Malawi are among other nations in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region that have recorded outbreaks of bird flu.
Zambia banned imports of live birds and other poultry products from affected countries in the area.
In a related development, one of Zimbabwe’s major poultry producers, Fairhill Chicken, has seen production drop by more than 25% due to the current outbreak of the disease.
Local media there reported the decline in production was threatening the jobs of thousands of employees in the industry.
“We have reduced hours of contract works as a result of utilisation going down as low as 75%,” said Fairhill Chicken Managing Director, Trevor Shaw.