Almost 50 delegates from 24 customers in 10 countries took part in the Cobb Middle East Broiler Seminar held in Cape Town, South Africa.
The opening presentation in the four-day seminar was given by Pieter Oosthuysen, senior manager for Cobb in Africa, who spoke about the trends and challenges facing the South African poultry market.
The fluctuations in the price of maize and currency exchange rates, coupled with predictions of lower economic growth, poses challenges for the future, he said. Yet the broiler industry in South Africa provided some 57 percent of the animal protein in the country from 20 million birds/week, and technical performance was good and competing with the best in the world.
“The industry needs to rebuild relationships with Government and move from conflict to collaboration,” he said. “There is a need to reinvest for future efficiency and foreign competitiveness, and to adjust the business model to better suit market demand.”
Commenting on the Middle East market, Mohamad Kallas, Cobb senior accounts manager, stated: “The Cobb team has built an excellent relationship with our distributors and customers in the region that is based on trust, openness, reliability and loyalty. We anticipate these relationships growing further due to advancing genetics and performance.”
The technical presentations covered many aspects of broiler management from incubation effects to lighting, nutrition and health with high interest in the talk on ventilation in hot climates by Matthew Wilson, Cobb regional technical services director. His presentation covered tunnel ventilation, evaporative cooling, water recovery units and pad housing—closing with the importance of sealing the poultry house and guidelines on how to test its effectiveness in achieving the minimum pressure of 37.5 Pascals.
The program also included two farm visits. The first was to the farm of Quantum Foods grower, located in the Atlantis area near Cape Town, where Andre Bester gave delegates a tour of the brooding facilities which achieve commendably high seven-day weights of around 190 grams. The following day at RCL Foods they were shown modern panel housing, designed for improved insulation and energy efficiency, now achieving 1.97 kg (4.34 lb) at 32 days.