The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE Inclusive Poultry Value Chain (IPVC) project has established Poultry Business Associations (PBA) aimed at assisting farmers access extension, inputs, financial and market services in a convenient and cost-effective manner.
The IPVC project is part of a larger EU-funded Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP) that was launched in Zimbabwe in June 2019. The 40-million-Euro initiative seeks to boost the beef, dairy, pig, goat and poultry production, complemented by Zimbabwe Agricultural.
Knowledge and Innovation Services (ZAKIS) which is mandated to work with the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement to coordinate market-oriented education and extension services across the five value chains.
IPVC head of project Mr Joseph Matiza said the project set up PBAs is made up of producer member institutions to assist farmers with bulk purchase of feed and day-old chicks.
“The PBAs are producer member institutions that administer and coordinate collective action for farmer access to extension, inputs, financial and market services in a more convenient and cost-effective manner. Through the bulk purchase of feed and day-old chicks at the PBAs across all clusters (Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare), small to medium-scale poultry producers have managed run their business enterprises at a profit,” said Mr Matiza.
He also noted that the PBAs have established partnerships with National Foods Holding Limited and Windmill Zimbabwe for bulk feed supplies and with Kudu Creek, Irvine’s, Masvingo Chicks and Super Chicks for day-old chicks’ supplies.
“The bulk purchases arrangement has seen farmers saving up to US$2.50c/bag of feed. For a bulk purchase profitability scenario, a 50 kg bag Retail price on average is US$23. The 50kg bag is discounted to a selling price of US$20. Therefore, discount per bag is US$3.00. PBAs benefit retention is US$3.00 less US$2.50 coming to US$0.50c per bag. Ultimately farmer benefit retention is US$2.50c per bag. At least 17,183 bags (50kg) of feed and 88,858 chicks have been sold to the PBA members across the five clusters.”
The IPVC project is also piloting the green technologies initiative to further increase profitability for farmers as the intervention sees farmers not only going green and contributing to sustainable green economy in Zimbabwe, but also assisting them in improving their production.
A 65-year-old farmer from Gweru, Ms Rosemary Ngorima who is one of the farmers who have benefitted from the installation of a 3.5 KV photovoltaic lighting system last month is a member of the Platinum Business Association under the Gweru cluster and runs an 800-layer project.
Ms Ngorima used to rely on natural lighting system and battery powered torches to extend the egg production period. However, this yielded little impact on her production levels resulting in low profits.
“After joining the Platinum Poultry Association, I received numerous trainings in layer management, biosecurity and financial literacy. As someone with little knowledge on poultry production, this led to improvements in my management techniques. In a space of two weeks, my production was boosted and I started producing 22 crates up from 20,” she said.
She added that she was now getting profit of 4c/egg up from 2c/egg and was already planning to increase her flock from 800 to 1500 birds. The IPVC project is continuing to establish satellite PBAs and so far, some have been established in Umzingwane, Shangani and Norton, Mashava, Matobo, Kwekwe, Ntabazinduna, Watsomba, Mkoba and Basilbridge.
By July 2021 four new live bird markets will be operating and they will be selling an average of 10 000 live birds a month, making a profit for farmers and for the market itself. Feed sales at the PBAs across the five clusters is expected to increase by an extra 40 percent.
Meanwhile, the Harare PBA received a 10-metric tonne truck to assist in input deliveries. The truck was handed over to the PBA chairman at the Sustainable Agriculture Technology (SAT) offices in Harare. SAT country director Mr Bryan Saunders said the idea was to assist the Harare PBA with profitability, as the vehicle will be used to provide logistics to members of the PBA.
The logistics include deliveries of feed, day-old-chicks, and other inputs. To date, the Poultry Direct Business Association has sold about 47,495 day-old-chicks and 513.55 tonnes of feed to its members.