SA poultry industry, govt work to open new export markets

JOHANNESBURG, August 21 (ANA) - South Africa's poultry industry was working with the government to open up new export markets as part of a master plan currently under development to re-invigorate the sector, the department of trade and industry said on Wednesday.

It said the government had convened a meeting of poultry producers, importers and public agencies to map out a growth strategy amid concerns that imports of frozen chicken were hurting local output.

"The South African poultry industry has come under pressure in recent years as a result, in part, of increased import competition," the department said.

"However, it remains strategically important to South Africa as a source of employment and agricultural production. It is estimated that about 50 000 people work in the poultry industry, making up a significant portion of agricultural employment in South Africa."

The talks in Pretoria were led by trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel, his deputy Nomalungelo Gina, and agriculture, land reform and rural development minister, Thoko Didiza.

The new initiative to open markets for poultry comes days after Patel established a committee at a strategic session held at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) comprising business, labour and government, to develop action plans around the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

 “We need to find a road to a more competitive, inclusive industry employing more South Africans," Patel said in remarks carried in Wednesday's statement.

"There are opportunities for us to sell more chicken meat in other parts of the world, increase our capacity, and bring down prices for local consumers.”

- African News Agency

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