WATCH: SA poultry industry faces being knocked off its perch by Nigeria
A new report by Rabobank has said that while South Africa would remain the biggest producer on the continent, Zambia, Ethiopia and Rwanda tipped as the next growth frontiers for investment and production of poultry products in Africa. The report said South Africa’s production was expected to decline in the next few years because of rising competition and the Avian Influenza outbreak which killed more than 10percent of the country’s laying flock in 2017.
“South Africa to remain the biggest industry, but its share of total African production will fall further in the next decade,” said senior Rabobank analyst Nan-Dirk Mulder.
The report said overall the poultry egg industry was growing by 3.9percent a year, with Nigeria predicted to grow between 3percent and 5percent between 2017 and 2027.
Last week, the SA Poultry Association (Sapa) said chicken imports mainly from the EU block were bleeding the industry leading to job losses.
The organisation said South Africa was producing 19.7million chickens a week against a market demand of 21million.
The Department of Trade and Industry has just launched a new poultry sector master plan to revitalise local poultry production.
Experts cite rising feed costs, declining export opportunities - with Europe closed to South African exports - and current drought conditions among the major constraints muzzling growth and recovery in South Africa.
The Robobank report said regional competitors such as Zambia and Ethiopia were offering investment incentives, import bans and fast growth in soybean production as key attractions for investors in their industries.
“Several international companies have developed their positions in Africa’s poultry sector, including modern retail and restaurant chains continuing their expansion; animal nutrition companies strengthening their positions throughout Africa and (poultry) breeding companies establishing a more pan-African supply system as well as equipment suppliers building distribution networks,” reads the report.