Shs4.6b at stake as Tanzania bans import of day-old chicks
What you need to know:
- The ban, which takes effect on July 30, will impact more than 250,000 chicks that are exported to Tanzania on a monthly basis
Poultry farmers and exporters under, Poultry Association of Uganda are staring at losses as Tanzania bans import of day-old chicks.
This is the second time Tanzania is banning importation of chicks in a bid to protect its hatcheries and limit the inflow of substandard chicks. The first ban, which was later lifted, was imposed in 2016.
Mr Aga Sekalala Jr, the Poultry Association of Uganda chairman and the Ugachick managing director, told Monitor yesterday that the ban, which takes effect on July 30, will impact more than 250,000 chicks that are exported to Tanzania on a monthly basis.
In a year, Uganda exports day-old chicks to Tanzania for an average of eight months, which translate to annual revenue of Shs4.6b, according to the Poultry Association of Uganda.
Mr Henry Mambwe, the Biyinzika chief executive officer, yesterday said, the ban will deeply affect exporters but noted that whereas Tanzania is seeking to protect its hatcheries, the ban might not be sustainable given that local producers lack the capacity to meet demand. In 2018 Tanzania faced a biting shortage of chicken, months after it had banned importation of poultry from neighbouring countries.
The Tanzania Poultry Breeders Association Secretary General Manase Mrindwa, said then that a number of firms had stopped production of day-old chicks, leading to a shortage of broilers and layers.
On Monday, the Tanzania Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Abdallah Ulega, said in a statement that government would, beginning next Saturday, stop issuing import permits for day-old chicks after a meeting with poultry business executives in Dodoma, in which Mr Ulega also noted that government was collecting poultry industry data to ascertain the demand for day-old chicks.
Local poultry producers had decried the rise in imported chicks sold at lower prices. Most incubators in Tanzaia sell day-old chicks at an average price of Shs3,264 (Tsh2,000), which is way more expensive than Uganda’s which, according to Poultry Association of Uganda costs an average of Shs2,300.
Tanzania has previously banned the importation of chicks and poultry meat from Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa and the US to protect local farmers.
Tanzania also imports day-old chicks from UK and South Africa, with substantial quantities imported from Kenya and Zambia. However, in 2017, Tanzania destroyed 6,400 chicks that it claimed were smuggled in from Kenya.