Botswana is self-sufficient in poultry meat like braai packs (Individually Quick Frozen) and whole birds.
However it still lags behind in processing and supplying of further processed poultry meat.
Ministry of Agriculture Poultry Division head, Samuel Tjetjo, said this when answering a questionnaire from Sunday Standard on the poultry industry in the country.
As a result of capacity to further process the meat, he said that the country still imports these products (further processed) to augment local supply and because of the unavailability of these products locally.
On the amount of chicken that is produced locally, he said that in the last financial year (2013/14) the country produced 42133.3 tonnes of broiler meat and 10786405.1 dozen eggs.
To be self sufficient in further processed chicken meat products, Tjetjo said the country needs approximately 3000 tonnes are per annum.
Among the problems facing the industry, he outlined that high input costs, especially feed, impact negatively particularly on small-scale poultry producers.
As well as lack of slaughtering and marketing facilities for small scale producers, he said the lack of pullet rearing facilities in the country, lead to heavy dependence on other countries
The lack of skill and culture of commercial poultry production by some producers and disease outbreaks especially in neighbouring countries imposes movement restrictions on poultry and poultry products into the country.
Tjetjo said to deal with some of the problems, the ministry is encouraging the clustering of small scale poultry producers so as to access slaughter and marketing facilities.
Significant progress is noted with SEPHA (Serowe-Palapye) and MMASEBOTSE (Mmadinare, Selibe Phikwe, Bobonong & Tsetsebjwe) cooperative abattoirs.
He further said the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Botswana Poultry Association conducts annual workshops across the country to impart knowledge and skills on pertinent issues affecting poultry production.
These include brooding, biosecurity, feeding strategies, marketing and record keeping.
Tjetjo said the issue of halaal is affecting the industry by dividing potential customers as not all customers prefer non-halaal products.
However, Statutory Instrument No. 9 of 2009, which stipulates Control of Goods, Marking and Labelling of Halaal and Non-Halaal Meat Products Regulations promotes the sale of halaal and non-halaal poultry products side by side in retail outlets.