Zimbabwe has been hit by a shortage if day old chicks and eggs, and the situation is expected to become worse in the next few weeks. The shortage has been caused by an outbreak of the avian influenza virus, also known as H5N8. Poultry producers also bemoaned the high duty charges on imports from Europe.
Enock Mbendani, chairperson of the Manicaland Poultry Producers Association said:
The global outbreak of avian influenza has hit us hard and there is a shortage of chicks, which should stretch for a further five to six months.
The 40 percent duty on eggs also means we cannot import them from Europe at the moment to replenish our stocks as it would mean one day-old-chicks will retail at an untenable $1,20 per chick.
Because South Africa has also been hit, inter-trade of poultry between us has been affected until this is cleared. So our hope lies with egg imports from Europe. Zimbabwe Poultry Association is going to write to the minister to temporarily forgo duty on eggs to protect the consumer, especially as we battle this liquidity crisis.
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