BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
ZIMBABWE’S egg production tumbled by 4% to 36,4 million dozens in 2018, as output by small-scale producers fell, according to a fourth quarter performance report by the Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA).
In the report, ZPA chairperson Solomon Zawe said the large-scale in-lay layer production stocks continued to improve and in the fourth quarter of 2018, were 27% higher than in the third quarter, and 87% than stocks in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Similarly, large-scale table egg production increased by 27% in the fourth quarter to 1,6 million dozens per month, being increases of 27% over the third quarter and 73% over the fourth quarter in 2017.
However, Zawe said estimated small-scale production decreased by 1% to 1,8 million dozens per month.
“Total egg production in the fourth quarter was 3,4 million dozens per month, being increases of 10% compared with third quarter of 2018 and 28% over fourth quarter of 2017. The wholesale price of table eggs increased 65% and averaged $6,06 per tray of 30 eggs,” he said.
“Estimate total egg production for the year was 36,4 million dozens, a decrease of 4% compared with 2017.”
Meanwhile, the ZPA boss said the layer breeding industry witnessed tremendous growth in the last half of 2018 on the back of continued breeder investments.
He said total layer breeder stocks (growing and in-lay) averaged 76 596 birds per month in the fourth quarter of 2018, an increase of 41% over the third quarter and 152% over the same period in 2017 and matched the previous stock levels of early 2014.
“Layer hatching egg production increased by 45% in the fourth quarter, which was 155% higher than the same period last year,” he said.
Zawe said sexed pullet production (layer day-old chicks) averaged 169 620 per month in the fourth quarter, which was a 14% decrease as compared to the third quarter, but 46% higher than the fourth quarter in 2017.
In the 2018 fourth quarter, the average price of sexed pullets increased by 29% to $220 per dozen.