THE Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) has projected that the sector will grow more than 80 million birds in the next few years due to the rising demand of the day-old chicks.
PAZ executive manager Dominic Chanda said the sector was expected to grow over 80 million birds due to a number of new entrants into the sector.
The sector has recorded tremendous growth over the last 10 years and the association has seen a number of investments that have come into the industry.
"In the past 10 years, we have seen huge investment coming into the country and if you look at statistics, last year alone, the sector produced close to about 68 million day-old chicks and about 150 million eggs.
"This means that the broilers sector grew by almost 21 per cent, with the egg sub sector growing to a tune of about 16 to 18 per cent," Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda attributed the growth of the sector to good policy environment the Government has put in place. He said that the sector was growing because of the demand that was arising from the growth of the middle income status, adding that the prices of poultry products were cheaper hence making it affordable for the vulnerable families.
Mr Chanda said that the poultry sector had also driven the growth of allied industries like soya beans sector in past 10 years.
"We used to import soya beans, but now we are able to produce above what we can consume. So we have seen the growth of soya beans sector also coming on board. Besides that, we have also seen a number of millers producing stock feed increasing in terms of numbers and in size," he said.
He said, if the sector was to thrive and meet the expectations and contribute effectively to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), there was need to ensure that the cost of production was maintained or reduced. Mr Chanda said the rising cost of production was one of the major challenges the sector was facing.