22 Jun 2016 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JUN (NAMPA) The lack of vaccination for chickens to prevent or reduce the adverse effects of diseases, and the shortages of land for poultry farming, have slowed down production for local poultry farmers.
These concerns were raised during an information-sharing meeting between representatives of the poultry and dairy sectors and the Namibia Trade Forum (NTF), in collaboration with the Agriculture Trade Forum here on Monday.
A statement issued by the NTF after the meeting said businesses say they are experiencing lack of vaccination for chickens.
It also said the business community urged government to pay attention to egg production and to consider protecting this sector.
Preventative vaccinations will result in increased health and improved production efficiency in the poultry industry, the farmers argue.
Currently, the poultry industry is in its infant stages and has one key player, Namib Poultry Industry (NPI) that produces close to 3 500 tonnes of chicken per month. This represents only 50 per cent of the local demand.
Government imposed quantitative restrictions in 2013 but due to low domestic supply, the efforts failed and import quotas of chicken were raised from 900 tonnes to 1 500 tonnes per month.
Key retailers and distributors have mentioned that due to the restrictions on value added poultry products, their stock levels remain low as the local producer does not meet the demand.
Government should consider a reasonable approach before cutting down on imports, the NTF statement reads.
It also recommended that small poultry producers should take part in farming initiatives to meet local supply constraints as the market is lucrative.
Delegates also called on the Ministry of Land Reform to allocate land to poultry producers and not only to cattle farmers, to meet the local demand.
The purpose of the information-sharing session was to create awareness of Government plans as per the Growth at Home strategy .
The aim of the sector growth is to enhance domestic value chains, upgrade manufacturing facilities and create employment in the sector.