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Zambia: Yielding Feeds predicts recovery of poultry industry

Yielding Feeds (YF) in Zambia has predicted a recovery of the poultry industry citing improvements in egg production.

YF general manager Sven Pihlblad stated that the woes of the past eight months experienced by the poultry industry were now a thing of the past.

“Egg production has returned to profitability largely due to lowered stock feed prices to levels that existed a year ago and the improved egg tray price that can now fetch as much as K18,000 ($3.87) a tray wholesale price,” he stated.

He said that the high stock feed prices of that time put about 40% of poultry farmers on reduced production or out of the business altogether.

“The factors resulting in those exorbitant feed prices came from expensive maize and soybean that are vital and substantial components of stock feed production.

“These were in short supply due to a poor global harvest and had to be imported into Zambia at a time when the kwacha did the industry no favours by depreciating from about K3,500 per US dollar to over K5,800 per US dollar,” he stated.

Pihlblad stated that egg production gross margins fell as a result to percentages below 20 making the farmer struggle to pay overheads.

“Further challenges came from reduced demand from the market place as the consumer pocket was hit by the global economic downturn resulting in job losses,” Pihlblad said.

Yielding history
Yieldingtree Milling Ltd (YTM) was established in 2001, by the Blands, who at the time were running a pullet rearing farm from their homestead.

They were dissatisfied with the quality and cost of feed available in the Zambian market. Milling feed “on farm” would provide control over quality as well as over the major input cost to point of lay pullet rearing (35% of sales revenue) and ultimately this would drive efficiency gains for the business.

Once established the market soon showed a preference to procure through a company that was dedicated to personal service coupled with a high quality product – the Yielding Feeds brand was born.

Yielding Feeds has shown strong growth over the years. Capacity has been increased and the business is projecting sales of circa 17,000 tonnes for 2008, with a turnover in excess of $11 million.

Natalie Berkhout

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