Irvine’s Zimbabwe (Private) Limited Chief Executive David Irvine has called on government to seriously consider reducing the price of maize in order to assist the viability of poultry producers.
According to an article published in The Herald, Mr Irvine was speaking to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Mike Bimha during the Minister’s tour of Irvine’s feed processing plant in Harare.
“We are basically taking maize and soya and converting them into chicken and eggs. The maize price is wrong. It is set at $390 per tonne, a level for those who produce two tonnes per hectare. We should not be paying to cover just small producers,” said Mr Irvine.
Mr Irvine contends that the price of maize per tonne on the local market is high compared to the landing cost from South Africa. This in effect is resulting in the company not being able to produce more chickens or reduce its prices due to the high cost of production inputs.
“The price in South Africa is about $170 per tonne and if you add transport to that you get to about $270 per tonne. That is the import parity that is roughly where the price should be. If we get that my cost of chicken will go down. Instead of putting 200,000 per week through that plant I will increase to 250,000 per week and I’ll be able to lower the price and sell more,” said Mr Irvine as quoted in The Herald here.
The request to reduce maize price can likely be met with resistance from maize farmers especially the small scale farmers who are the majority as this will have a knock on effect on their profit margins and viability.
On other challenges the company is also facing, Mr Irvine briefed the Minister on the tedious processes of acquiring import permits for raw materials not available locally.
Numerous fees by different regulatory bodies and the long turnaround time in getting the permits were cited as obstacles in the ease of doing business and efforts to tap into the export market.
For the full article published in The Herald today, please click here.
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