Lusaka — Pig farming has declined and forced Zambia Pork Products (ZAPP) to drastically reduce slaughtering capacity from 250 to less than 100 pigs a day.
ZAPP chief executive Webster Musukwa said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that his company had been adversely affected by the shortage of pigs which has resulted in the animals fetching very high prices. Mr. Musukwa attributed the fall in the population of pigs to the high cost of stockfeed which had made pig rearing an expensive venture in Zambia.
The situation was worsened by a long-standing ban on the movement of pigs from Eastern Province due to the East Coast swine fever which had hit the area. He said as a result of this ZAPP had, in conjunction with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) embarked on a scheme under which pig farmers would obtain stockfeed on credit.
Mr. Musukwa said trials of the credit scheme had been conducted among 10 pig farmers and were still in the process of being refined. "The pig population is very low and usually we end up with high prices for pigs. We are only able to slaughter at the most 150 pigs because there are not enough pigs to slaughter," Mr. Musukwa complained.
He said ZAPP which was privatised in 1996 was determined to regain its place as a major dealer in pork products and had started an expansion programme costing K4bn. He said ZAPP was working on improving the packaging of its products to beat the heavy competition from imported pork products that had flooded the market.
He said ZAPP encouraged rapport with its customers to enable it to improve the quality of its products. In an apparent reference to a complaint from a customer that was sold imported spare ribs, Mr. Musukwa said ZAPP only bought local pigs.
Mr. Musukwa said there were two types of spare ribs, a special called improved rib which was de-boned in a special way and one which was dubbed local.