Namibian chicken competitive in poultry market
Following the launch of three new frozen chicken products by Namib Poultry Industries about a month ago, General Manager Gys White, in a recent interview told the Economist that despite the protection they enjoy under the Infant Industry Protection programme, their products still have to compete with whole and cut chicken from both South Africa and Brazil on a price and quality consideration.
All imported poultry is now subject to an excise duty of 46% as determined by the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Infant Industry Protection programme. This effectively increased the retail price of frozen whole and cut chicken by between 52% and 55% creating the mark-up space for Namib Poultry to produce profitably. White said demand for their products is growing as a result, as they now enjoy a price advantage over imported chicken.
“Chicken is getting more and more popular but the Namibian demand is not as high as in other surrounding countries because we believe there has been no local supply to stimulate an increase in demand,” explained White.
He said that their prospects for this year is to simply supply the full need of the Namibian consumer with local brands of outstanding quality at a competitive price and value. “We will be producing very close to 2,000 tons of chicken in June 2012 and definitely be achieving the volume in July 2012.”
White said that their greatest challenge still remains high input prices and cheap imported products from South America, especially Brazil being dumped at a lower than cost price. Only last week, Brazilian authorities requested consultation with their South African counterparts, thereby officially instituting a dispute under World Trade Organisation trade rules.
White said although they are not set to export chicken in the nearest future, if they were to consider exports, Angola would be an obvious market to explore but currently they are only focusing on supplying the Namibian market.
The Namib Poultry Industries farm and factory employed more than four hundred workers in a temporary capacity during the year it took to construct the facility. It currently employs more than 500 people on a permanent basis.
White said “We are proud to have launched our first proudly Namibian frozen chicken brands a month ago. We have also launched Namibia’s first locally produced fresh chicken products this week in all major retailers around Windhoek.”
The chicken farm is situated on Farm Klein Okapuka about 30 kilometres from Windhoek and has the capacity to rear 250,000 broilers per month. A proud White said they have already started constructing their own laying farms as part of the project and to stock new genetics. “Our first flock was placed in November 2011 and is already in lay, supplying fertile eggs to our hatchery.”
“We will still continue to import fertile eggs until November 2012 and hope to have 6 flocks in lay by that time in order to meet our full demand for fertile eggs.”