Many South Africans have had to go without eggs for weeks now.
This much-loved protein-packed product is essential for breakfasts, baking, and more.
The nation can now breathe a sigh of relief as the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has revealed that egg stock levels are constantly refilling, so there is no need to panic buy at this time.
According to the department, there are currently a few open import permits for eggs and poultry products from a few nations.
This includes the import of table eggs, fertilised eggs, pasteurised eggs, egg powder, and liquid eggs. This has been ongoing in South Africa for many years and is not limited to the present epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
Minister Thoko Didiza stated that the department is relieved that the HPAI epidemic has been contained and that 70 percent of farms that were not afflicted are still producing eggs and poultry.
“Since the egg production cycle is not too long, we expect the situation to normalise early next year. We will continue to import more eggs should the situation not improve,” added the minister.
The department stated that other countries, including Brazil, the USA, and Argentina, have been exporting eggs to South Africa for quite some time, and the department is currently processing import permit applications from a few more countries.
“The department does not dictate which countries it should make business sense for South African retailers to import eggs from; it only ensures that bio-security risk assessments are conducted when importers apply for import permits,” it said.
The department claimed to have imported eggs for the festive season:
Fertilised eggs: 9 million
Day-old chicks: 37,802 tons
Egg products: 62 metric tons
Poultry meat: 30 986 metric tons
“We have increased fertilised eggs from 1.9 million to 9 million in less than one month. These eggs will be chickens in less four months,” added Didiza.