Breeders want day-old chicks inflows curbed

05Dec 2022
Getrude Mbago
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Breeders want day-old chicks inflows curbed

POULTRY farmers have complained of what they term as unfair market competition with the influx of cheap day-old chicks (DOCs) entering the country, often through informal routes.

Costa Mrema, chairman of the Tanzania Broiler Farmers Association (TABROFA) lodged the complaints over the weekend at a press conference, saying the situation poses huge risk to their business and employment.

Most of them end up selling their products at low prices, he said, asking the government to intervene as producers of local chicks are facing tough times.

They fail to meet competition from imported chicks whose prices stand at 1000/- per chick while the local ones are being sold at 1800/-, he said, underlining that it is quite worrying as at this rate breeders will have no market to sell their products.

It is a matter of concern as in some instances local breeders are pushed to subsistence rather than commercial, he said, elaborating that the price of feed is soaring and carting production costs with it, “so the situation is quite tough.”

“We spend a lot in taking care of our chickens but unfortunately the price is unfair. Adult chicken from chicks entering the country illegally are sold at 5500/- while ours are sold above 7000/-,” he stated, insisting that breeders are chocking from this consistent losses situation.

“The market doesn’t have a supervisor, therefore players are trading without price regulation, something which is a burden to others,” he stated, arguing that the government needs to come up with strategies to regulate the business “in like manner as other sectors are regulated.”  

He suggested that special markets be set up for breeders and traders to auction their products as it is with livestock markets, pointing at price control in such areas as the major objective.

“By having the special auction areas will help provide value to the industry as farmers will be able to control prices and sell their products at a beneficial price,” he specified.

Albert Momdjian, director of Organia Ltd breeding company, said that despite the government needs to create a conducive business environment for the local poultry industry as it faces acute challenges.

“Our aim is not to bar others from importing chicks legally, but what we want is to have fair competition,” he explained, elaborating that this includes having fair taxes and levies as well as controlling improper an influx of chicks.

The rise of smuggled chicks in the country creates fear for local producers who encounter high expenses in taking care of chickens but later fail to reach the market.

“We continuously engage with farmers around some of these issues but it still remains difficult to come up with best ways to ensure that our products are absorbed in the market,” as there are wide gaps enabling the influx of chicks, he emphasized.

Flora Kabote, a breeder at Tegeta, Kinondoni District in the city, said the price of feed is soaring, making farmers spend more in taking care of chickens “but they gain nothing in the end due to unfair markets.”

“The increase of day-old chicks in the country has highly affected us, we are calling on the government to see this and help address it, we have spent a lot of capital in the business, gaining nothing but losses,” she said.

Livestock and Fisheries ministry data indicate rising chicken numbers, standing at 87.7m in the past year from 83.28m the year before, out of which 40.36m are indigenous breeds and 47.34m are broilers.

Top Stories