Poultry farmers under the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) have criticised the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) for arm twisting farmers to acceding to new regulations introduced without consultation.
The Ministry of Agriculture last September introduced a Statutory Instrument that compels farmers to register with AMA and to pay an annual membership fee of $1 000.
Under the new regulations, farmers are also expected to keep poultry records and to occasionally call AMA inspectors for internal inspection. Farmers are also expected to pay 5 cents per 1kg of poultry products and 1 cent for every bird sold or retained.
Speaking at Livestock Stakeholders Consultation Meeting in Bulawayo last week, Christen Sukume said farmers are not generating enough profits.
Another stakeholder, Takunda Chineka of Sondelani Stock feed Manufactures Association said they were never consulted on the regulation and it came at a time when they were facing problems of livestock feed, a move that will not only lead to further losses but is likely to lead to the increase in the price of poultry products on the market.
“Currently, we are having a shortage of raw materials and then they introduce this regulation without even consulting us,” he said
Meanwhile, Harold Kasuka a poultry farmer said they were not yet appraised on the new regulation.
“This is new to us,” said Kasuka, “Even though the fees appear to be bless they will eventually become a menace because we are not getting enough profits to cope with the demands.”