By CASSEY KAYULA
THE country has significantly benefited from the shortage of day old chick in the region as a result of bird flu outbreak ,exporting over 336 tonnes ready to hatch eggs valued at K17 million to the Great Lakes Region from April to June this year.
The Great Lakes Region and Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been the major market.
Fisheries and Livestock minister Kampamba Mulenga said 22 tonnes of day old chicks valued at K14 million were also exported to the SADC region.
Ms Mulenga said as the country develops the export market, it should not be at the expense of the domestic market which has experienced a critical shortage of a day old chicks.
“I commend your association for penetrating the SADC and the Great Lakes Region markets in terms of exports related to day old chicks and hatching eggs which has placed Zambia as a reliable source of good quality poultry products,” she said.
Ms Kampamba said during the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) Annual general meeting in Lusaka at the weekend, that the ministry was aware of the tremendous economic contribution the sub-sector made at household and national levels.
The minister said it was Government’s desire that the poultry industry’s good performance was translated into job creation growth in export earnings and increased value addition among others.
“We will continue to closely monitor the importation of competing poultry and poultry products,” she said.
Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) Jervis Zimba said the poultry sector had made significant contribution to the agriculture sector, with poultry production levels increasing to reach
the current levels.
Mr Zimba said the poultry industry is one of the pillars of Zambian agriculture sector as it had also propelled growth of the soya beans industry and that of other service providers.
He said there was need for Government and the poultry industry to work together in an effort to sustain the sector’s growth by finding lasting solutions to both production and marketing challenges.