The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will ban the import of chicken from 2019, and the government will provide domestic producers with support in order for them to be able to fully supply the domestic market.
The decision to ban the import of chickens has been under consideration for a while. The Mozambican Association of Poultry Farmers (AMA) has been pressing for it since its first attempt to ban imports about five years ago.
On that occasion, poultry farmers complained that the national market was flooded with cheap imported chicken domestic producers could not compete with and constituted a case of ‘dumping’. According to domestic producers, a Mozambican chicken could be sold for a minimum of MT150 (five years ago), when the imported poultry cost between MT110 and MT120.
With the market flooded completely, the decision was taken to suspend imports on the promise of domestic producers to produce enough chicken to meet demand, which they failed to do. This decision was taken just before the end-of-year festivities, a period of peak demand, and resulted in a shortage of chicken and skyrocketing prices. Importers were gleeful when called upon to make up the shortfall.
Five years on, the AMA has grown stronger and appears to be working with Agriculture Ministry, represented by the National Director of Veterinary, Américo Manuel, to ensure that the conditions for a new ban are met by 2019.
“Chicken is one of the strategic products identified by MASA that, along with beef and dairy produce, is one of seven priority value chains which includes the production of rice, horticulture, roots and tubers, beans and fruit. We want the chicken imports to end in 2019”, Manuel says.
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