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Photo: Jornal Domingo
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said on Friday that the country is moving speedily towards self-sufficiency in the production of chickens, and hence towards reducing chicken imports.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Centre for the Reproduction of Fertile Eggs, at Namaacha, on the border with Swaziland, Nyusi said that the vision of the government for the 2015-2019 five year period is to achieve a prosperous, competitive and sustainable agricultural and livestock sector, capable of meeting the challenges of food and nutritional security.
The Reproduction Centre belongs to the poultry company Higest, which has invested 350 million meticais (about 5.8 million US dollars) in the Namaacha facility. It occupies an area of 150 hectares and has the capacity to accommodate 40,000 breeding hens and 4,000 males. It should be able to produce 6.8 million fertile eggs for incubation every year.
“This is one more step towards complying with the recommendations from the National Meeting of Poultry Farmers held in Rapale, Nampula province, where we oriented the poultry sector to increase its production and productivity, so as to achieve self-sufficiency in chickens and eggs”, said Nyusi.
He said that in 2015 Mozambican poultry farmers produced 68,000 tonnes of chicken meat, against a demand for 78,000 tonnes. Demand has risen since then, and Nyusi put the need for 2019 at 96,000 tonnes. The government hopes to meet that in full plus a surplus for export – the target for 2019 is 128,000 tonnes.
He recalled that many people had been sceptical about Mozambican capacity to reach such targets, “but we have been working to overcome the deficit of 9,700 tonnes we had in 2015, and arrive at a surplus of around 31,000 tonnes in 2019”.
Nyusi said that, over the past two years, there had been a significant reduction in imports of chickens and their derivatives. The imports had fallen by 17 per cent, from about 4,000 tonnes in 2016 to 3,300 tonnes in 2017.
The new Higest unit, the President added, marked a decisive step towards complying with the government’s target of reducing egg imports by about 14 per cent, and contributing to an increase in national chicken production of around seven per cent.
There were already two other units of this kind in Mozambique – one in the northern province of Nampula, and one in Manica in the centre of the country, which can produce annually nine million and ten million fertile eggs, respectively.
But, until now, southern Mozambique had been entirely dependent on fertile eggs imported from South Africa and Swaziland, and even from Europe. These imports accounted for 70 per cent of the 66 million fertile eggs consumed annually in the country.
Nyusi said that Mozambique is already supplying chicken to the multinational restaurant chain KFC, as well as to supermarkets across the country, because the Mozambican product meets the standards demanded internationally.