Cape Town – The government is in the process of trying to find funding for chicken producers who are facing closure or who have closed due to the poultry crisis in South Africa, said Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
Zokwana was responding to a question posed by the ANC’s Patrick Moloyi in the National Assembly on Wednesday about government’s efforts to preserve jobs in the poultry sector.
The Department of Trade and Industry is leading an inter-ministerial task team to consider the competitiveness of the poultry industry and what can be done to save jobs, Zokwana said.
He said South Africa’s poultry sector is not as competitive as it could be due to the fact that producers use a lot of brining (salt water) in the chicken they produced.
“In addition, there’s the dumping of brown meat from countries, such as those in the European Union (EU), while South African chicken farmers and producers, which are not subsidised have to compete with EU countries that are subsidised.”
Zokwane said South Africa’s chicken industry is one of the most untransformed industries in South Africa. “But it’s not something we can fix overnight.”
His department with DTI will look at the viability of chicken farms and producers to gain an understanding of how they could be assisted.
By Liesl Peyper
First published in FDin 24 on 11 May 2017