poultry ban1.jpgA cross section of the public in Harare has expressed mixed feelings over the recently announced lift on the ban on the importation of poultry, pork and other meat products .

 

The majority interviewed welcomed this as a good development while players in the sector say it is a heavy blow on the local industry.

 

Government recently lifted the ban on the importation of poultry and other products of animal origin as the country is facing severe shortage as producers are failing to meet demand.

 

Consumers in Harare welcomed the latest development saying producers were abusing government programmes and unilaterally hiking prices as they had no external competition.

 

“I think government has done well because these producers were now charging high prices on the chickens and it had become very unaffordable,” one consumer said.

 

However, some said the recent development is negative in the sense that it will destroy the local industry which was beginning to show clear signs of recovery while some cited health concerns.

 

“There is need for government to capacitate the local industry so that we are not a consumer economy that depends on other countries,” another said.

 

Meanwhile, players in the poultry industry say the decision is a heavy blow on the industry which was emerging from the woods.

 

Crest Poultry Group Chief Executive, Dr Tapera Mpezeni said although the local industry is not afraid of competition, the problem is that the country will become a dumping ground for cheap genetically modified foods.

 

“We appreciate that over the past two months we have been facing challenges in meeting demand but we are not afraid at all of the competition, but oversupply will be a problem,” said Mr. Mpezeni.

 

Poultry producers have come under fire from consumers for taking advantage of government’s protection by shrinking supply and hiking prices of chickens.