Egg production tumbles
The egg-producing industry tumbled by 23% to 3,6 million eggs in the first quarter of 2017 largely due to disinvestment by small-scale producers, an industry official has said. Zimbabwe Poultry Association chairperson Solomon Zawe said egg production suffered tremendously in the first quarter of 2017 as small-scale producers disinvested.“Total egg production in the first quarter of 2017 is estimated to have declined to 3,6 million dozen from 4,7 million dozen in the same period in 2016, largely due to disinvestment by small-scale producers in table egg production,” Zawe said.
However, he said the number of in-lay layer breeders in the first quarters of 2016 and 2017 were similar.“However, breeder chick retentions and growing birds were 59% and 30% lower in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016,” Zawe said. He said production of layer hatching eggs had declined by 18%, while imports (also being 10% of local production) had declined by 8% and total hatching eggs had declined by 18%.
But chick production had shown a marginal increase of 2%, while chick price had firmed from $114 per 100 chicks in September 2016 to $130 in March 2017, he noted. “The number of layer birds in-production in the first quarter of 2017 was marginally higher than the same period of 2016, and table egg production was 5% higher at 1,76 million dozen per month,” he said. Zawe said the price of a tray of eggs recovered from a four-year low of $2,86 in November 2016 and reached $3,53 in March 2017.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI