Stockfeed demand goes down

11 Sep, 2016 - 00:09 0 Views
Stockfeed demand goes down

The Sunday News


Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
THE decline in the prices of cattle has affected the demand for stockfeed as farmers are now failing to raise adequate money to purchase the commodity, an official has said.

In an interview last week, National Foods managing executive in the stockfeeds division Mr Lewis Ngwenya said the demand for stockfeed by farmers was mainly due to scepticism by farmers to fatten their cattle as they fear they would not recoup the investment due to the low prices prevailing on the market.

The price of cattle has dropped to as low as a $1 to $0,90 cents per kilogramme (kg) of live mass down from $3,00 or $2,50 per kg

“You realise that the decline in the prices of cattle has also led to the farmers reducing the demand for stockfeed to fatten their cattle,” said Mr Ngwenya.

He said the market for cattle stockfeed has dropped although there is still a need for supplementary feeding because of the drought.

He, however, said the company has the capacity to meet demand.

“The company is well capacitated to meet the demand for stockfeed since there are more than enough raw materials to produce stockfeed.

“With our increased production in our mills, thanks to the import ban, the raw materials for stockfeed are also increasing,” Mr Ngwenya said.

“We can safely say that our current capacity can meet the demand to the end of the year and we are sitting down to see if we can go beyond that period should the worst hit us like a continued drought.

“One of the strategies that we look at is to use yellow maize instead of white maize that we now reserve for human consumption.”

He said with the drop in demand for stockfeed, the company was seeking other markets and were hoping to boost export especially to Botswana.

“Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) was recently admitted back to supply Europe and their demand for stockfeed will definitely go up and we are looking forward to take that advantage,” said Mr Ngwenya.

National Foods stockfeeds division received ISO 9001 certification at their plant in Bulawayo last week.

Three certificates were issued by the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ).

According to the SAZ technical director Mr Sebastian Zuze the certificates were a way of accepting the promise that National Foods Stockfeeds Division will produce quality products and adhere to environment and labour friendly processes on their production.

“ISO certification is voluntary but it is symbolic for a company to go the route as it is a promise to customers that you are going to produce quality products for them.

However, SAZ has the right to take them back if that promise is not met,” said Mr Zuze.

Mr Ngwenya also said that poultry stockfeed demand was low as well.

“There is also a decline in the demand for poultry feed because generally protein prices are down and the trends in poultry farming have changed.

“Now poultry farmers are just small-scale farmers and ordinary people in their backyards, who when the industry gets complicated they will not risk anything, so they just stop producing,” said Mr Ngwenya.


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