23 August 2010

Zambia: Sustainable Development - a Challenge for Poultry, Livestock Industry

THE role of sustainable development is to attain sound economic growth in a manner that integrates sustainable environmental and social objectives with an ultimate goal to improve the livelihoods of our people and preserve our natural resources.

The poultry industry in Zambia has a well documented and acknowledged growth over the last decade, cementing its ability and zeal to take on the challenges it faces and overcoming these with innovative solutions as a way of assuring continued and sustainable growth.

This success story is a practical example of development and empowerment to the people of the nation through efficient planning and investment and good Government policy.

The heightened effects of this growing industry are not only the population accessing quality and affordable animal protein but are more wide ranging:

- Per capita income is increased

- Access to resources is improved

- Job creation is improved and distribution of income is attainable by more.

- The populace attains a better health and nutritional status

- The environment is better managed

Sustainable development in the poultry industry in Zambia is being heightened and achieved through an integrated approach.

Stock feed producers have greatly improved their production and quality capacities through investment in more efficient technology.

This is resulting in greater competition and ultimately cheaper consumer prices of poultry.

The hatcheries have also invested in greater production capacities and are offering poultry breeds not only of improved performance but of greater breed variation as well.

These advantages are resulting in a growing consumption of chicken and egg by the populace spurning growth.

The domino effect is remarkable; increased incentive and production to produce crops of significance to the sector primarily maize and soya beans, improved employment opportunities, accelerated development of the retail and distribution network, greater contribution to Government coffers through taxes and improved lending will from financial institutions.

Sustainable development in the poultry industry demands improved environmental management as a secondary, but important concern.

This is attained through development of environmentally friendly products and processes of production and rearing.

Continual cyclic improvements to this ensure that even after their use, they create minimal damage to the environment.

The instruments to attain this are as earlier alluded to in this article; improved poultry breeds that ensure superior performance-less feed intake, quicker and stronger growth minimising emission periods.

More efficient equipment ensuring better feed quality and minimising processing wastage to the environment, increased organic manure stocks to bolster organic and conservation farming efforts etc.

Sustainable development in the poultry industry is a reality Zambia can be proud of.

It is a stark reminder and inspiration that success can be attained and assures the future development of the nation.

THE author is the general manager of Yielding Feeds Ltd.

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