Meat price hikes looming » ZOOM Zimbabwe News

Meat price hikes looming

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A hike in the prices of pork, chicken and beef are imminent after the price of feed shot up following the removal of grain subsidies by government, an industry official has warned.

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) on Tuesday held a meeting, where LMAC cautioned that the viability of the industry was under threat because costs of livestock feed had become unsustainable.

LMAC warned that a price hike, or shortages of the meat, was around the corner.

LMAC economist Reneth Mano said: “By just changing, overnight, the grain marketing policies without consultations to the commercial livestock sector, which has been a major partner of government and GMB (Grain Marketing Board), the farmer has been introduced to a big shock. Now, there is a risk to the billion dollar industry.

“And the main threat really is if you are a poultry breeder and you are producing day-olds and you cannot access maize at affordable prices, you may have to cut production. If you are into piggery, with imported breeding stock, like a lot of our medium and large-scale producers, when you cannot feed pigs you may have to scale down or kill some of them to convert into pork.”

For beef, where the animals rely on imported soya meal, the costs have cascaded even higher.

Authorities in Harare, who are battling to control government spending, removed subsidies on grain which saw the price of maize and soyabeans jump from ZWL$250 to ZWL $726 and ZWL $780 to ZWL $918 per tonne, respectively.

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“So, stockfeed prices went up by about 20%, which, in my opinion, is a reaction to the change in the maize and grain pricing,” Mano said.

“Using our basic demand, meat sales could fall by as much as 20% or 30%.”

According to the LMAC, Zimbabwe has annual demand of around 91 million birds, 266 000 slaughter cows and 140 000 pigs.

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