According to The Economist, over the last 50 years, Africa has never been in such good shape as it is now. If you look at any list of the top 10 fastest growing economies, there will be African nations there. There’s more to Africa than is often assumed.
Africa is often held up as the continent of the future. While usually squarely classified as “developing,” the continent is one of contrasts, with some parts well-developed or firmly on their way to being so.
In terms of poultry and egg production, it is a similar story. South Africa, does not have the highest number of poultry. By head, South Africa is pushed into third place by Nigeria and Morocco.
These contrasts are particularly evident if one looks at the price of two dozen eggs. The latest edition of the African Veterinary Digest reveals that Angola is the country where two dozen eggs costs the most – the equivalent of US$6.29. Consumers in Cote D’Ivoire, however, have access to the cheapest eggs, coming in at US$1.01.
A similar story can be found for chicken breasts. Angola is again the most expensive African country where chicken breast is concerned, coming in at $15.30 per kg, while Mali is the cheapest place and 1 kg of chicken breast can be bought for US$1.
The continent’s largest poultry meat producers on an annual basis are South Africa, which produces 1.5 milllion metric tons of chicken meat; Egypt, 685,000 metric tons; Morocco, 560,000; Nigeria, 268,000; and Algeria, 254,000. When production figures are compared with the size of the national flock, contrasting levels of efficiency become apparent.
Rather than concentrating on the larger players, the African Veterinary Digest looks at the many lesser known poultry producing nations.
Algeria, for example, produced 254,000 metric tons of chicken meat in 2010, almost double the amount of beef produced in the country that year, and had a flock that numbers 125 million head. Its GDP stood at US$262.1 billion in 2011, recording a real growth rate of 2.9 percent.
Further south, Ghana has a flock that numbered just 47 million in 2010, producing 51,675 metric tons of poultry meat. Its economy was worth US$74.77 billion in 2011, recording a real growth rate of 13.5 percent.
While many African countries may be growing from a low base, they are nevertheless growing. This has clear implications for rising living standards and a greater demand for meat, with all that this entails for poultry production.