About 1,82 million broilers were slaughtered in 2016, which was slightly lower than the 1, 85 million slaughtered in 2015. However, the output in 2016 remained substantially higher than output in 2013 and 2014.
In a January 2017 newsletter that summarised the 2016 production figures, Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) chairperson, Solomon Zawe, said that broiler sales and retentions of day-old chicks in 2016 was 74,8million, which was 1% lower than the previous year.
Chick prices, he said, had continued to decline and currently stood at US$0, 61 [about R7,77] per chick. In June 2015, prices were at US$0, 74 [R9,43] per chick, and in December 2016, prices were at US$0, 63 [R8,03] per chick.
In 2016, the number of processed birds and broiler meat production in the formal sector was 2% lower and 6% higher than in 2015 and 2014 respectively.
A farmer and former president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers’ Union, Donald Khumalo, said that the high cost of stock feed, a result of erratic maize and soya bean supply, had negatively affected farmers in 2016. However, he added that prospects were better for 2017.
“We foresee a growth in that [maize] subsector because last year was a drought year and there were challenges with regard to high cost of stock feed,” he said.
“However, this year with the abundant rain, we don’t think there would be supply problems regarding maize. Soya is always a problem because we don’t grow much of it. We import, but since the import burden would be lighter with maize locally available, I think there would be enough soya. The stock feed price is therefore expected to be fairer.”
According to Zawe, the layer sector had diminished last year as a result of an unstable egg market, the report said.
“Including the small- to medium-scale sectors,” said Zawe, “it is estimated that total egg production has declined from a peak of 5 million [dozen cartons] achieved in June 2016, primarily due to the reduction of sexed pullet sales into the smallholder sector, resulting in a decline in production from this sector from 3 million dozen eggs in March to 2,2 million dozen in December.”