Sunday, January 29, 2023

Poultry farmers decry saturated market

Botswana Poultry Farmers have indicated that the country’s poultry market is saturated and thus making it difficult to have their products absorbed.

While President Mokgweetsi Masisi recently stated that the country has reached self-sufficiency in poultry production, Botswana Poultry Farmers Association Chairman Ishmael Mosinyi said that there is increased market saturation of poultry products across the country.

He highlighted that as a result of this development, there is likelihood that at some point some farmers will resort to subsistence farming. He said the poultry industry has so far outgrown the demand.

“It is quite worrying at this rate because most farmers have no market to sell their products and it is a concern because in some instances these farmers are forced to be subsistent as opposed to commercial. Farmers continuously spend a lot in this project with hope that they will reap the benefits but with the way things are, it is quite tough,” said Mosinyi.

He also said it is even more challenging considering that numbers of farmers continue to increase weekly which put further pressure on the existing market.

Mosinyi highlighted that the supply of day old chicks has also gone up recently despite saturation of the market.

“We continuously engage with farmers around some of these issues but it still remains difficult to come up with best ways to ensure that our products are absorbed in the market,” said Mosinyi.

He said perhaps if there was an export market then the industry would flourish as their products would go off the shelves every now and then.

Mosinyi stated that they continue to update their database to understand the existing figures of poultry farmers in the country.

He said the only silver lining at this point is that Botswana does not import poultry products adding that this should now motivate government to seek export markets for local products.

Recently President Masisi stated that the country had achieved self-sufficiency in poultry production.

It is estimated that in Botswana the small-scale farming sector produces over 11 million chickens per year generating over P678 million in annual revenue.

Masisi stated that it should be noted that Irvine’s poultry production contributes 50% of all chicken meat consumed in Botswana.

He said the value and quantity of chicken is even much bigger than that of beef.

“Government remains committed to ensuring economic diversification, employment creation and food security and it will do everything in its power to support the private sector through the creation of enabling environment for businesses to thrive. In the recent reset agenda adopted by government, the development of value chain in the Agricultural sector is one of its key priority. To ensure food security we also need to improve our knowledge capability,” said Masisi. He said the increased food demand and consumption habits are contributing to the country’s high import bill which currently stands at P1 billion a month.

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