Zim's livestock production prospects dim

HARARE - Zimbabwe is likely to record subdued meat production this year due to foreign currency shortages, increased costs of production and high regulatory costs, the livestock industry has said.

The Livestock & Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) said the country achieved record growth in egg and milk production during the first nine months of 2018.

“This production momentum and market demand may not be sustained into 2019 as projected by the latest Livestock Zimbabwe Market Update, citing foreign currency shortages, increased costs of production and high regulatory costs of doing business undermining global competitiveness of the domestic livestock production sector,” LMAC said.

Zimbabwe is targeting to restore food self-sufficiency as an integral component of its national food security strategy; the livestock industry has striven to rebuild the animal protein base for self-sufficiency over the last decade.

Zimbabwe has been self-sufficient in meat and eggs since 2012 and is set to achieve self-sufficiency in dairy production by 2022 on the back of public policy support for private sector investments into the dairy industry.

“The business pressures on production costs along the livestock value chains are being compounded by the high level of inflation experienced in 2018, which continued to erode consumer purchasing power. Low income families consider meat and eggs as luxury goods, consumption of which declines with falling disposable real income, compromising the nutritional security and development of children under the age of five years,” LMAC added.

All livestock sub-sectors recorded production increases for the first nine months of 2018 over the same period last year, with the exception of table egg production.

Chicken production, Zimbabwe’s largest meat industry, achieved record production growth in the third quarter of this year, with broiler meat production topping 12 000 tonnes per month.

The 6,3 percent increase in beef slaughters for the nine months to September 30, 2018 over the same period last year is not only a reflection of massive restocking in recent years, but also a reflection of recovery from the drought in the two years prior to 2017, the report noted.

“However, the beef industry is still suffering from regulatory and disease pressures. Regulatory costs of compliance (taxes, duties and other regulatory costs levied on the livestock producer) are highest in the cattle industry, amounting to around $100 per beast slaughtered.”

National milk production increased by 12 percent to 54,4 million litres, compared to the same period in 2017. Milk production has increased year on year by an average of 10 percent since 2014, spurred by private investment in the national dairy herd.

“The outlook for 2019 in the livestock and meat industry remains very positive. . . .,” LMAC said.

Comments (1)

Does the LMAC work with "commanders" of "command agriculture"? I ask because there seems disharmony between the noise of "success" coming from the command agric vs the decline in livestock production mentioned here. Is it again a case of delusional success touted on deadbc/tv & state/party media's myopic, one-dimensional view?

Sagitarr - 30 January 2019

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