The poultry industry and Government has begun work to open up new export markets for South African poultry.

This is one of the key interventions expected in the poultry master plan, currently under development to re-invigorate the industry.

Government convened a meeting of local poultry producers and importers together with public agencies to map out a growth strategy for the sector. This follows concerns expressed about a flood of imports of frozen chicken pieces into the local market.

Two Ministers led the talks from Government an intense and productive meeting with industry stakeholders hosted in Pretoria, by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza, and the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Nomalungelo Gina.

This new initiative to open markets for poultry comes days after Minister Patel established a National Committee at a strategic session held at Nedlac, comprising business, labour and government, to develop action plans around the new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The South African poultry industry has come under pressure in recent years as a result, in part, of increased import competition. However, it remains strategically important to South Africa as a source of employment and agricultural production. It is estimated that about 50 000 people work in the poultry industry, making up a significant portion of agricultural employment in South Africa.

Speaking on the policy balance which government and industry must pursue, Minister Patel noted:

We need find a road to a more competitive, inclusive industry employing more South Africans. There are opportunities for us to sell more chicken meat in other parts of the world, increase our capacity and bring down prices for local consumers.

The development of master plans in the poultry sector is part of a series of master plans being developed across priority industries as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s re-imagined industrial strategy for South Africa.

Source: Department of Trade and Industry