Stockfeed shortage hampers pig industry

pigMUTARE A shortage of stockfeed and essential vaccines has crippled efforts to increase production in the pig industry, a top official said last week. (Pictured: Pig industry official says a shortage of stockfeed hampring production)

Manicaland Pig Producers Association (MAPPA) director Patrick Chaipa told The Zimbabwean on Sunday that the country was facing a shortage of yellow maize and soya bean that are key ingredients in the making of stockfeed. The shortages of yellow maize and soya beans are hampering efforts to maximize production, said Chaipa. As a result we are not producing enough to export but the market is there. Let us capitalise on the demand for pork in South Africa, Mauritius and Botswana.

He said Zimbabwe was losing substantial revenue in potential foreign currency earnings because of the pig industrys failure to supply the huge export market for pork and pork products.

The MAPPA official said Zimbabwe should copy from countries like Brazil where he said massive production of yellow maize and soya bean had helped boost the pig industry in that country.

In addition to stockfeed shortages, pig farmers were also facing difficulties accessing essential drugs to vaccinate animals, according to Chaipa. Chaipa said the power outages had also hit hard the pig industry with farmers forced to incur an extra cost using generators to provide electricity. We have resorted to the use of generators but it is an added expense, he said.

Chaipa called on the government to provide incentives for farmers to produce more yellow maize and also said duty on imported animal vaccines and other drugs should be reviewed to help struggling farmers cope with ever-rising costs of production.

The government should consider revitalising the production of yellow maize since it was deregulated a few years ago. The government should also revise the import duty which is too high for many farmers, he said. Chaipa said the association this year plans to continue researching on the suitability of cottonseed as a pig feed.

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