The Poultry Association of Zambia(PAZ) says Zambia is ready to begin exporting processed chickens to Saudi Arabia once the deal is sealed between the two countries.
PAZ Executive Director, Dominic Chanda said the association has been preparing since when the Ministry of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME’s) announced on March 20 2023 that a renowned multi-million Dollar company had expressed interest to import chickens from Zambia.
Chanda revealed that the Association has the capacity to supply chickens within and outside the country, adding that SME’s farmers will be integrated.
“We eagerly await the discussions to be concluded between the Ministry of SME’s and the importers,” he said.
“Before we start exporting, we expect Saudi Arabia to come and inspect the facilities here in Zambia.”
Chanda added that once the deal is finalised, the exportation of chickens will contribute to the economic growth of the country by creating employment and bringing in foreign exchange.
He however urged government to continue negotiating with other countries to ensure that Zambia becomes one of the major exporters of chickens in Southern African region.
Meanwhile, an SME poultry farmer, Elias Kalingeme said the exportation of chickens to Saudi Arabia is a good deal because it will help farmers to penetrate the international market which will in return increase cash flow and expand their businesses.
“We appeal to government to subsidize the feed as this will empower SME’s Poultry Farmers with capital and they will be able to formulate their own feed,” Kalingeme said.
He added that most SMEs are not going far due to the exploitation by the market in which they offload their products from.
“You will find that one chicken is costing K80 then the customers will come and say he wants a chicken at 70 kwacha, at the end of the day we don’t make anything,” the farmer complained.
Kalingeme called on the government to finalise the deal as soon as possible.