Botswana Poultry Farmers Association have indicated readiness to supply big fast-food outlets in the country.
The Association Secretary Mpho Maemo said closure of borders for imports on poultry products presents a silver lining as local farmers have proven to be ready to meet local demand.
Last month, government took a decision to ban importation of poultry products from South Africa owing to avian influenza.
Maemo said local farmers have the potential to supply restaurants and retail shops, adding that should they be given a chance, they will ensure that they are timely supplied.
“You will recall that there had been concerns over the years that local retail outlets are not supportive enough to local farmers and that is true”
“We have previously held meetings with government, calling for measures to be put in place to ensure that locals benefit and that has helped to a little degree” said Maemo.
Maemo also indicated that local fast-food restaurant should engage local farmers for supply, adding that with their support, more poultry farmers can meet supply.
“This ban should help poultry farmers to now sit down with all stakeholders being government, retailers and restaurants to see how best we can work together because I have said it many times and I will say it now, local farmers have the potential”
“We deserve a chance, we cannot be allowing restaurants to be sourcing their poultry products from foreign countries when we have farmers here, we need to dialogue on this issue” said Maemo.
It has been reported over the years that as the demand for poultry meat increases in the country, there are a number of broiler units in the country scaling up to ensure there is enough supply to keep supermarkets, restaurants and butchers’ shelves well stocked.
Recently, Fast food restaurants raised complaint that they were running out of chicken wings.
Nandos Botswana General Manager, Challenge Nhamoyebonde said all their 17 stores have run out of wings, adding that they had been sourcing their products from South Africa.
He added that this has affected top selling meals in the restaurant.
Government has previously indicated that the country predominantly consumes chicken pieces sold in 2kg braai packs, and therefore producers are not able to provide wings on their own as they often source them from whole chickens when they are prepared for the market.