THE price of chicken has increased by over 40 percent from about $3/kg to $4.40/kg with the Zimbabwe Poultry Farmers Association (ZPFA) attributing this to stockfeed price increase.
The move is set to push the cost of living up and dampen consumer spending given the difficult economic climate prevailing in the country, observers say.
A snap survey carried by Business Chronicle yesterday revealed that a 2kg pack of mixed chicken portions ranged between $6,19 and $8 from about $5,50.
At OK Zimbabwe, a 2kg pack of mixed portions ranged between $6,79 and $7,35 while at Choppies Enterprises the price was pegged at between $6,49 and $7,15.
At Pick n Pay, a 2kg packet of mixed chicken portions ranged between $6,19 and $7,15.
ZPFA chairman Retired Colonel George Nare attributed the price increase to the price of stockfeed that had increased from $29 per 50kg bag to $34.
“It’s true that the price of chicken has increased. On average the price of chicken has gone up from $3.30 to $4/kg, which is not bad. This is because the price of stockfeed increased from $29 a bag to $34 in November last year. So the price of chicken has to go up too.
“The stockfeed price increase has been triggered by the continued importation of maize used to produce stockfeed. But in the next three months or so, we expect to have stability in view of anticipated good harvest. Thank God we are having good rains.”
Chicken is a major diet component in Zimbabwe as more people increasingly prefer it to red meat on health considerations.
A latest Consumer Council of Zimbabwe survey report has shown that the cost of living for an urban low-income earner for a family of six has increased by $4.72 or 3.68 percent from $128.34 by end-November 2016 to $133.06 by end of December.
Rtd Col Nare said poultry production locally has gone down due to continued smuggling of cheap imports that were creating unnecessary competition to farmers who were already choked by high production costs.
Last year, the Government promulgated Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, which removes several goods including poultry products from the Open General Import Licence to protect local companies as the industry had the capacity to meet demand.
Due to porous borders, Rtd Col Nare is on record saying Zimbabwe consumed about 1,5 million kg of chicken valued at about $700 000 from South Africa between January and September last year, the figures he claimed were not captured in local trade statistics, but were recorded by the South African Revenue Service.
A report for the second quarter of 2016 from the South African Poultry Association listed Zimbabwe among the top countries importing South African poultry products.
However, the imports were not reflected in the Zimbabwean trade data, confirming concerns that such products could be entering the country illegally.
Article Source: The Chronicle