South Africa’s troubled poultry sector is to get governmental assistance to help break into new export markets and become more competitive, reports from a recent conference suggest.
The local industry exports only about 1.5% of its production, and this is mainly to neighbouring countries. Producers recently benefited from tariff protection against cheap imports from Brazil and the sector has also applied for protection from ‘dumped’ chicken from Europe.
Speaking at the annual AVI Africa poultry sector conference, Imameleng Mothebe, a director of industrial development at the Department of Trade and Industry, said the initial focus area for export opportunities was the Middle East. The department was working on a five-year action plan that would tackle SA’s “capability to export our products, particularly in terms of health and safety-related issues”.
Mothebe said regulations needed by each targeted export market were being assessed. “Engagements are ongoing with our representatives in the various countries in the Middle East to assist us to fast-track the issues around the acceptance of our standards and certifications,” she said.
Other target markets includes Angola, which imports much of its bulk poultry from Brazil, and could be a market for niche poultry products.
“We want to ensure that at least in the short to medium term we are in a position to open one or two markets,” Mothebe said. The department also wanted to ensure that “the industry is geared up to take up those opportunities”.
In the long term, trade and industry was looking to open up other export opportunities, including in Iraq, Venezuela, Ghana and Japan with initial efforts being on broiler meat exports, but opportunities to export eggs were being looked at.
Source: Business Day Live