Clinton Moyo, Farming Reporter
THERE is a massive shortage of chicken eggs on the local market due to the effects of avian influenza outbreak which occured last year severely impacting on the country’s poultry industry, an official said.
Zimbabwe Poultry Farmers Association chairperson Retired Colonel George Nare attributed the shortage of eggs to the outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu last year.
The outbreak was first reported at the country’s largest poultry producer and supplier of eggs, Irvine’s in May and at a commercial farm in Mashonaland East Province two months later, leading to the culling of hundreds of thousands birds to contain the deadly virus.
“I think the shortage of eggs on the market is very obvious following the H5N8, people have been importing them since then, but we are expecting the shortage to go down as well as the prices,” said Rtd Col Nare.
In October last year Government announced a new regulation under statutory instrument 124 of 2017 to suspend duty on fertilised egg importers including Irvine’s to maintain the availability of both poultry and eggs on the market.
The shortage of eggs on the market has led to a drastic price increase.
A snap survey done by Sunday Business revealed that eggs were absent at most supermarkets while vendors were selling them $1 for three up from $1 for six.
Rtd Col Nare said the situation was likely to be better in the next three months as most of the country’s chick layers would have matured.
“I think in three months time the situation would have stabilised because we will be having more layers for eggs. The poultry industry is also recovering quickly, we also expect it to be up and running in three months,” he said.