Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
THE ban on genetically modified stockfeeds is negatively impacting on the poultry and pig sectors, Mr Mario Beffa, chairman of the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council has said. Speaking at a workshop on the constraints affecting the two sectors in Harare on Tuesday, Mr Beffa said there was urgent need to lift the ban on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to boost the availability of stockfeeds.
"The relevant authorities need to make considerations on the GMO ban because it is making the availability of stockfeeds difficult since you know that our farmers are failing to meet the demand," said Mr Beffa.
According to reports by agricultural economists, Dr Jackqueline Mutambara and Dr Chrispen Sukume, GMO stockfeeds are cheaper than non-GMO and substituting the latter for the former would make the sectors viable.
"GMO soya and maize are cheaper than non-GMO soya and maize and substituting the latter for the former in pig diets will reduce the price of feeds currently constituting 85 percent of the total cost of production in pigs.
"This will reduce the cost of raising pigs and thus improve on the profits," Dr Mutambara said.
Representatives from the two sectors have since formed a task force that will engage the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Science and Technology to deliberate on the issue of the GMO ban on stockfeeds.
Apart from the GMO ban the sectors are also facing high import tariffs on production of raw materials and inputs and the excessive illegal poultry and pig imports.
"There should be a clampdown on illegal poultry imports because they are affecting us seriously," Lunar Chickens chief executive, Mr Edwin Mushangwe said.