Swazi market hit hard by lack of poultry
The demand for
poultry was much higher than expected, and the consumers have had to pay prices
which spiked to over E20 per kilo. At the moment the outlook of the poultry
industry is generally positive for 2007.
As good as this might be for the small-scale Swazi farmer, it is not
so good for the consumer. The demand for chicken is overwhelming and this could
be partly attributed to the fact that as much as red meat still remains the best
meat for most Swazis, due to health reasons chicken has become the ultimate
choice. There is also a bigger demand for quick meals, not only fast foods, but
easy to prepare meals from supermarkets and evidently, with chicken being a
component of most fast foods.
NAMBoard sells chickens bought from small Swazi farmers who are encouraged
to seek the market before the chickens have been slaughtered at the abattoir.
Before NAMBoard can buy a farmer's chickens, their poultry house and abattoir
must have been inspected by the Board's inspectors and the two parties should
have agreed on a price and terms. In instances where farmers charge exorbitant
prices, the NAMBoard makes no profit from the sale of the chickens and thus the
farmer only gets to be paid after all their chickens have been sold in the
The price for maize locally is very high and still increasing with no
assurance of it staggering. Besides the production cost, diseases such as New
Castle still remain a challenge, as they are endemic. Vaccination is
encouraged though to prevent such diseases. Last year there was the threat of
avian influenza and its threat was highest in September, but so far it has not
hit the country.
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