Poultry Africa 2019 responds to growing demand

Trade event Poultry Africa 2019, taking place in Kigali, Rwanda,reflects a positive outlook for African chicken meat and egg production.

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Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, at the opening of Poultry Africa 2019, noted that poultry production was the fastest-growing agricultural sub-sector in Africa. (Poultry Africa 2019)
Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, at the opening of Poultry Africa 2019, noted that poultry production was the fastest-growing agricultural sub-sector in Africa. (Poultry Africa 2019)

“For those who want to engage in poultry, this is your time”, said Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, at the official opening of Poultry Africa 2019, held in Kigali this month.

She continued that poultry was the fastest growing agricultural sub-sector in Africa and that the vision of the Rwandan government was to turn subsistence poultry production into a market-orientated activity. To achieve this, two years ago the government drew up an agricultural master plan which targeted a 125% increase in broiler production over the next five years with a similar increase in egg production.

Helping to build skills in poultry production, the first day of the event saw an agreement signed between the Moroccan and Rwandan poultry industries, which will see Rwanda’s poultry producers being offered training under Morocco’s Avipole training center.

Rwandan Moroccan Poultry Agreement Signing

An agreement between Morocco and Rwanda will see Rwanda’s poultry producers offered training, accommodation and food at Morocco’s Avipole. (Mark Clements)

Poultry Africa has attracted 128 exhibiting companies from 29 countries this year and a 70% increase has been predicted.

In addition to the commercial exhibition, the event also includes a number of presentations, and was preceded by the Poultry Africa Leadership Conference, which highlighted both progress in the African poultry industry as well as throwing light on difficulties to be overcome.

Nan-Dirk Mulder, senior global animal protein specialist at Rabobank, for example, noted that while growth in many protein sectors on the continent has been slowing, this has not been the case for poultry. He continued that while North Africa has traditionally been the most important area for poultry meat and egg production this is changing, and growth is shifting to sub-Saharan Africa.

Among driving factors for this change are that incomes are rising while the population is expected to double by 2050. Urbanization is also an important contributor and the boom in in aquaculture production that has been witnessed in Asia and Latin America has failed to materialize in Africa.

The challenge for Africa, however, is to raise grain yields. If grain production were to become more efficient, this would have knock-on effects in various areas.

As well as improving production, the industry needs to challenge consumer attitudes. Comfort Acheampong, for example, explained that in Ghana a number of myths, including that egg consumption while pregnant can lead to a difficult birth or will result in a child that becomes a thief, have had to be overcome, but that education campaigns carried out in a variety of settings from festivals to churches have helped to raise egg consumption. Schools and hospitals now have serve eggs and per capita consumption has rocketed.

Move to annual event

Reflecting the growing interest in chicken meat and egg production in Africa, Poultry Africa will become an annual event, with the next edition taking place in Kenya in 2020.

According to Diana Toth, event manager Poultry Africa: “East Africa is a key production and consumption market for poultry and eggs in the continent.

Kenya presents an advanced supply chain driven by professional retailers. Easily accessible by air from Europe and highly affordable to fly into within Africa, and Nairobi will host the third edition of Poultry Africa.”

Diana Toth Poultry Africa 2019

Diana Toth, event manager Poultry Africa explains that the new yearly frequency of the trade show will better enable producers and suppliers to connect. (Mark Clements)

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