An honest view of the South African poultry industry: Inviting the hen to dinner

Quit your Squawking
Over the past few months the South African Poultry Association (SAPA), through its CEO Mr. Kevin Lovell, (in my humble opinion), has made allegations that the increased US poultry imports will undermine the gains made by the local industry. I find this to be manifestly unfounded on a number of grounds.

First, the poultry industry (and farming as a whole) still remains the least transformed sector in the South African economy, an external competitive intervention/stimulus in the form of imports will ensure that the industry remains competitive and honest.

Second, the ‘external intervention’ in the form of imports will provide the much needed remedial relief which will allow black (poultry) importers who can bypass ‘economic racism’ and the perception that black products area substandard. If product is produced in the United States (US), surely it must be of a better quality because it is produced by white farmers.

Third, poultry imports are nothing new in the sector in fact more than 40% of poultry products 'masquerades' as being locally produced (when in fact it is not).

Fourth, the perception that imports from the US do not meet the poultry sectors hygiene and health standards is a gross embellishment that is unsubstantiated. The refusal of international imports (especially from the US) is meant to maintain the 'Monopoly' that certain companies enjoy in South Africa, who have done very little in terms of SME development or supporting/preferring BEE suppliers.

Scratching out a Living 
On the other hand, I understand the broader implications of not imposing import tariffs on poultry products. Typically, the debates against imports are often more than not articulated and ‘brooded’ in terms of food security and (un)employment. Less explored is the idea that imports may also indirectly contribute to the shrinking of all educational programmes relating to Agriculture and the Animal sciences.

Chicken-hearted Trade Policies 
Furthermore, the country's politicians and the government departments that have an oversight over the industry have failed the country and industry in many ways. It is a trite principle of political engagement that a country's foreign trade policy must consist of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and those of its citizenry. South Africa, in general and the Departments Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries and Trade and Industry should always strive to only engage in agreements that have a tripartite-nature of being equitable, fair and balanced.

Written by, Ade Ed Camngca

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Should the red carpet portion of SONA be scrapped this year?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's inappropriate given the state of the country
93% - 3858 votes
No, it's part of the tradition
7% - 281 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.69
+0.4%
Rand - Pound
21.40
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
18.99
+0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.30
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.3%
Platinum
980.16
-0.7%
Palladium
1,666.68
+0.4%
Gold
1,881.55
+0.3%
Silver
22.45
+0.6%
Brent Crude
85.09
+1.7%
Top 40
73,968
0.0%
All Share
79,976
0.0%
Resource 10
74,722
0.0%
Industrial 25
103,851
0.0%
Financial 15
16,339
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE