Poultry producers have targeted to produce at least 100 million chicks this year as demand for chickens continues to surge. Since the adoption of multiple foreign currencies in 2009 and stabilisation in prices of stockfeeds, many farmers have ventured into poultry production both at a small and large scale.
Poultry farmers produced about 54 million-day-old chicks in the first half of last year compared to 52 million produced the whole of 2011.
Zimbabwe Poultry Producers Association president Mr Solomon Zawe said the increase in production would match the rise in demand for chickens.
Mr Zawe said adoption of multiple foreign currencies had enabled the establishment of more hatcheries and breeding stocks.
"Demand of day-old chicks is going up every day and as an association we want to satisfy the local market, so we are targeting 100 million day-old chicks this year," he said.
Mr Zawe said the target was attainable since banks were also financing poultry projects in the country.
He urged the Government to provide farmers with incentives to produce more grain in order to reduce prices of stock feeds.
"We urge farmers to produce adequate soyabeans and maize which are the most basic raw materials in the manufacturing of feeds. The current scenario where these raw materials are being imported is pushing the price of chicken very high," he said.
"This is resulting in chicken from far off countries like Brazil being cheaper than those produced in Zimbabwe," he said.
Over the years cheap imported chickens have flooded the market elbowing out local producers who encountered high production costs as the country experienced an economic meltdown.
The re-introduction of surtax on chicken and other goods to promote local industry has, however, revived the local industry as imports declined.