Poultry products to be imported for festive season: Didiza

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Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza says she has decided to allow the importation of poultry products to ensure sufficient stocks for the holiday season.

This follows the outbreak of the highly contagious avian influenza that affects poultry and wild birds. Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo says a number of permits have already been granted.

“The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development, working with all stakeholders in the poultry industry, is doing everything possible to contain the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) which is plaguing not only South Africa but other parts of the world as well. Since the 1st of September 2023, the department has granted 115 permits for fertiliser eggs, 48 permits for egg powder, 2 406 permits for poultry meat, 24 permits for table eggs. A permit might be for up to a shipping container or 10 000 tons,” says Ngcobo.

VIDEO BELOW: SA dealing with egg shortage

Meanwhile, South Africa’s younger generation of poultry farmers are already contributing to the growth of the local food movement, despite the outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian flu.

More than seven million birds have already been culled. The South African Poultry Association has urged farmers to focus on keeping the virus away from their chickens.

This can be done by avoiding contact with other poultry farms. The association says it’ll take the industry between six and 18 months to replace the culled birds.