The Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) says the shortage of day-old chicks is as a result of the restrictions implemented amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
PAZ Executive Manager Dominic Chanda said poultry farming still relies on the importation of the grandparent stock from Europe, which is only recently easing up on severe lockdown restrictions resulting in the limited supply of day old-chicks.
The rise in the number of poultry farmers which was due to the lockdown has also led to a limited supply of day-old chicks because there is a lower number of the grandparent stock on the ground to support the increase of the number of people doing poultry farming,Mr. Chanda.
He added that the prices of the competing products such as beef, pork and fish have increased and the demand of chicken has become high, contributing to the shortage of day-old chicks.
PAZ in partnership with government have been working towards improving livestock productivity which has led to the implementation of National Livestock Development Policy (NLDP) aimed at improving the livestock industry in order to enhance social economic development,Mr. Chanda.
The NLDP is a four-year policy spanning from 2021 to 2024 with an expected expenditure of 1.4 Billion Kwacha to improve the working environment for the poultry industry as well as strengthen the institutions of research and development.
Meanwhile, a poultry farmer from Chongwe, Wizya Silupumbwe said the limited supply of day-old chicks has affected every poultry farmer negatively.
I like to have a continuous stream of chickens at least three weeks apart, but that is proving to be difficult and it also messes up your customer relations when there is gap in the availability of your products,Mr. Silupumbwe.