South Africa should do more to boost its local poultry production capacity
South Africa is currently faced with the challenge of an upsurge of chicken imports into the country particularly from the EU. This has raised concern from the poultry industry as producer margins come under pressure and survival of the local poultry industry is threatened with wide-ranging implications on local jobs and incomes. An article by Moses Lubinga published in the DAFF-NAMC Trade Probe Issue 68 (March 2017) raises the point that one of the ways of analysing the challenge of cheap imports is to look at it against the backdrop of South Africa’s local poultry production capacity to meet local demand. His study points to a widening negative trade balance for frozen chicken portions in particular. The also reveals that South Africa’s broiler chicken production capacity is far below that of each of the selected EU member states (Netherlands, UK and Spain). The conclusion is that South Africa’s broiler production capacity is still too low to match the high demand for chicken meat, given that it is currently the cheapest source of protein. These findings bring to light the need to tackle the bottlenecks curtailing increased broiler production capacity in South Africa.