News 1047 views update:Mar 9, 2016

Rising feed prices cripple Bolivian poultry farmers

In Bolivia, poultry farmers continue to work at a loss due to high input prices. The corn quintal is now trading between Bs 115 (US$16.64) and Bs 120 (US$17.36) when it should be around Bs 65 (US$9.40). Meanwhile, the price of chicken kilo has reached Bs 15(US$2.17).

Bolivian Poultry farmers had a bad year in 2013 and they expect more incentives to avoid further losses. "We were working at a loss when the corn quintal had a cost of Bs 90(US$ 13.02) and currently it is between Bs 115(US$16.64) and Bs 120 (US$17.36). It is ridiculous as no profit is coming to the producer, and the perpetrators are the middlemen," the president of the National Association of Poultry Farmers of Santa Cruz, Bolivia (ANA), Ricardo Alandia claimed.

Alandia said that during the first half of last year, the losses were rising because the cost of production was Bs 8.50 (US$1.23) and poultry was sold for  Bs 5 (US$ 0.72). In the end, 2013 had a surplus of 30 million birds from a total of 160 million produced.

Regarding egg production, the sector has been low since October, according to Alandia. "There could be shortages in the coming weeks, because against losses, producers may discard their birds ahead of schedule, this will affect the amount available."

Governmental support has come from Business Support Food Production (EMAPA) who reported that the price of a corn quintal placed in Santa Cruz is Bs 64.40 (US$9.32), so they recommend farmers personally go to their offices to avoid that production costs rise.

Alandia said that because of this measure they could placate losses for a period but still, the speculation of middlemen continues, doubling the price at which the producer can deliver the product.

51% of the 160 million chickens are produced nationally, these are from Santa Cruz.
Producers estimate that 10,000 eggs left over each month of production. 70% of the 1,500 million annually incubated belong to Santa Cruz.
A Bolivian consumes 33 kilos of chicken per capita per year, while in the egg consumption is 130 per person annually.

Maria de los Angeles

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