Small-scale poultry farmer Ade Camngca has been waging a Twitter campaign for the removal of VAT from not only chicken portions, but also poultry feed, which makes up 60% to 70% of poultry farming input costs.
His latest contribution is a lengthy series of tweets setting out just why cheaper chicken feed is so important, particularly for small-scale farmers like his operation in Nigel, east of Johannesburg.
“In recent years we have witnessed the volatility of the price of feed – which has led to many subsistence and small commercial broiler and layer farmers exiting the sector,” he wrote.
“Zero-rating the price of feed would allow the industry to not only thrive but offer product that is competitively priced when compared to imports.”
Camngca says the savings for poultry farmers could be used to employ more workers, purchase new equipment, fund expansions or as savings for future business growth.
The removal of VAT from feed would operate as an indirect subsidy or financial support “that would not be susceptible to corruption or mismanagement of government funds”.
He urged the government to declare poultry a “favoured commodity” as is done in some countries in the northern hemisphere.
Chicken is the most accessible of animal proteins, and should be promoted “in a country where children experience stunted growth and malnutrition,” he said.