Durban - The production of South African poultry increased by 5% during the first eight months of the year, when compared to the same period last year, this despite the challenges to the operating environment brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was revealed by the South African Poultry Association at the second Poultry Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) meeting.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel and the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza.
The Poultry Sector Master Plan, which was signed by stakeholders at the 2019 South African Investment Conference in November last year, has been developed in close partnership between government and a number of stakeholders in the industry, including poultry producers, processors, exporters, importers and organised labour.
The meeting reflected on the implementation of the key actions agreed on and measures required to realise the agreed vision.
The objectives of the Poultry Master Plan hinge on increasing local chicken consumption and growing the demand for chicken, while also addressing the exporting of locally produced cooked and raw chicken products.
Poultry producers have pledged to invest R1.7bn towards expansion and improvement of productive capacity and some of the investment projects have already been completed including the expansion of hatchery and processing facility and 428 jobs created.
In addition, the financing model for contract farming has been developed to assist in assessing the producer’s business viability, profitability.
To drive exports, the poultry industry has strategically prioritised countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar for export of poultry products.
Furthermore, the industry will target markets which include SADC countries and those within the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and the Middle East.
The South African poultry industry is an important part of the agricultural sector. The masterplan provides a blueprint for the industry with substantial potential to expand the poultry production across the value chain, especially if substantial export markets can be developed.
Since the Master Plan was signed, government has implemented higher tariffs on certain cuts of poultry and has further triggered an investigation into the structure of tariffs to provide a more effective trade environment for poultry.
Further work has also been done with trading partners to improve compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures which would unlock further export markets.
The Master Plan is forward looking and directed at creating a new industry that is dynamic, export oriented, competitive, job-creating and inclusive, as opposed to the one that is reliant on defences against the challenges of the world.