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Chickens be patient

Negotiations are well underway to finalise discussions on Infant Industry Protection by the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the broiler industry. The recent outcry amongst poultry farmers and other industry stakeholders has been centred on the current lack of competitiveness for local chicken.
Gys White, Managing Director of Namib Poultry briefed the Economist on the subject matter, “In our opinion, a big amount of Brazilian chicken is imported and dumped in South Africa that puts pressure on South African producer prices. The South African producers then get rid of their high stock levels at very low prices in countries like Namibia. This in turn puts the Namibian industry under pressure.”
Namib poultry which is lobbying to be the preferred supplier of affordable poultry within Namibia beckoned the government to implement Infant Industry Protection in April last year. Interested and affected parties in the broiler industry had an opportunity to air their opinions earlier last month at a public consultation meeting organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
According to White, “The protection will be in the form of an additional customs levy on all imported chicken from within the Customs Union as well as other overseas countries.” He further informed the Economist that despite public discussions concerning the matter the IIP has not been implemented in any form to date.
Namib Poultry currently runs seven poultry sites with five broiler houses on each site. Together these produce 250,000 birds per week for slaughter in the Namib Poultry Industry abattoir. “There is one producer starting up in Swakopmund with the intention of selling live birds to NPI for slaughter as well as a few prospective contract growers who NPI is currently investigating to supply live birds to the abattoir. Total capacity for the abattoir is 500,000 birds per week on a double shift,” said White.

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