poultryy.jpgLocal poultry producers say there is no reason for Zimbabwe to be a dumping ground for imported cheap genetically modified chickens as local producers have the capacity to meet both internal and international demand.

 

As the debate surrounding the influx of cheap imported genetically modified chickens hots up, local poultry producers say they see no reason why the local populace’s health should be put at risk when they have the capacity to meet the demand for their products.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of Crest Poultry group Mr. Joram Nyahora said the local market at the moment is unpredictable as heavily subsidized chickens are allowed into the country thereby endangering the viability of the local industry.

 He said there is need for government to come up with a legislative framework to limit the amounts of genetically modified products coming into the country.

 

“If the current trend is allowed to continue, most of the related industries such as stock feed producers, soya-beans and maize farmers will be affected badly and this will derail the gains of the land reform programme made so far,” said Mr Nyahora.

 

Hubbard Zimbabwe Managing Director Dr Tapera Ignatius Mpezeni said his company has the capacity to provide day old chicks to farmers and called on relevant authorities to put in place measures to protect the local industry which is begging to show signs of recovery.

 

He said: “The government allowed the imports of food into the country after successive years of drought and the sanctions induced economic challenges which affected the manufacturing sector. Now that the economy is beginning to show signs of recovery, government should ban these imports to protect local industry. We have the capacity to provide enough day old chicks for the farmers.”

The dumping of heavily subsidized foreign products onto the local markets has been viewed by some farmers in the country as a deliberate ploy to stifle the development of the agricultural sector after government’s successful land reform programme.

 

The Zimbabwe Poultry Association Chairman Mr. Solomon Zawe believes if the current trend is allowed to continue unchecked; the Zimbabwean economy is likely to be transformed into a consumer economy.

 

While the local poultry industry has reached 85% production capacity, concerns have been raised over the continued flooding of chicken imports which are cheap and of poor quality.

 

The local poultry industry says there is need for government to come up with a regulatory framework for the suspension of these imports as the local market is flooded with the cheap imports.