Zimbabwe: New poultry feed venture

11-05-2009 | |

Windmill (Private) Ltd believes that the approx. US$60,000 poultry feed plant in Zimbabwe will herald the company’s entrance into poultry feed production.

The company’s sales manager (animal health), Tichaona Revesai, says that the business will initially target small-scale poultry producers and gradually ramp up production in order to cater for large-scale producers, reports Zimbabwe’s Sunday Mail.

“We are mainly targeting small- to medium-scale poultry producers, but we have the capacity, expertise and land to compete with the big producers. Our poultry stockfeeds have been tested at the University of Zimbabwe and have shown that it takes an average of 6 weeks for the birds to reach an average of 1.8 kg.”

The plant will intitially produce 100 t in phases of 30 t. However, there is a capacity to produce up to 500 t per month, Revesai adds.

Performance tests at UZ revealed that the market live weight at six weeks reached an average 1.8 kg, with the highest weight recorded at 2.2 kg. The feed conversion ratio topped 1,59.

Revesai: “Since we are now using the multi-currency system, stockfeed prices must be at par with import parity prices. Raw materials used to be expensive, for example, maize on the local market was fetching between US$300 and US$350 per tonne, while in South Africa it was averaging US$180 per t. But prices are beginning to moderate. It is critical to ensure that chickens do not exceed the 6 weeks because it will become very expensive. Furthermore, beyond that time the birds will not add any meaningful weight. So, it is imperative to have quality and affordable stockfeeds to guarantee competitive prices.”

Source: The Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe

Natalie Berkhout Freelance journalist