Chicks shortage pushes chicken price up


HIGH prices for chicks in Dar es Salaam due to low supply is pushing up chicken prices which were expected to decline after the government waived duties on poultry feed.

‘Daily News’ survey showed the price of a one-day old broiler chick has increased significantly from 1,200/- to 1,800/-after the market experienced acute shortage. The high prices for chicks is behind the slight rise of chicken prices as it has increased production costs.

According to traders in the poultry sub-sector, the fall in supply of chicks is a result of low chick production caused by aging parent chicken. In effect, these have kept chicken prices high despite falling prices of poultry feed after the government waived its duties.

Mwanaidi Hashim, an agent for Amadori Chicks at Tazara Area, told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that all four big chick hatching firms almost ran out of stocks as their parent chicken aged.

“I have an order of more than 5,000 broiler chicks, but no supply. And whenever the supply comes, it is only 1,000 chicks,” she said. “The demand is high and for the past two weeks I am returning customers’ money every day.”

The shortage has also affected agents of Mkuza Chicks, Interchicks and Kilacha Chicks as most have been importing parent chicken which are now aged. “This almost always affected the four hatchers.

It’s just like a circle which reoccurred after a certain period and once soon we’ll experience a glut,” she said. The shortage has forced chicken price to increase in the city despite declining of poultry feed prices since early last month.

The broiler chicken feed price for chicks fell to between 55,000/- and 63,000/- from 65,000/- and 74,000/- per 50kg bag depending on manufacturer. The finisher prices dropped from between 65,000/- and 72,000/- to 50,000/- and 59,000/- a bag.

The government waived duties on poultry feed in the 2017/2018 financial year to boost poultry sector. The changes became effective in July this year. Riyami Agent at Tazara, Bahati Shabani said the price went down immediately after the 2017/18 budget was passed.

“This drop helped little to increase customers as there are no chicks… you know broilers take around four weeks to mature so farmers failed to replace once they sold chickens,” Mr Shabani said.

Mr Shabani said since the chick shortages started his office has hardly been selling a bag of chicken feed a day compared to between five and seven bags a day in previous days.

“The office has turned to be a coffee joint discussing football or politics… mostly I rely on cus tomers buying in a kilo instead of a whole bag,” Shabani said.

‘Daily News’ survey at Kisutu and Mtambani Markets in Ilala and Kinondoni Municipalities respectively revealed that chicken prices have increased by between 300/- and 1,000/- per bird in the past two months.

At Kisutu Market chickens prices increased from 5,800/- two months ago to 6,000/- as of yesterday. At Mtambani Market in Kinondoni the prices have gone up from 5,500/- for low grade birds to 6,200/-, while for high quality 5,700/- to 7000/-.

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