The black market rates for USD and an increase in grain prices are likely to result in meat shortages in Zimbabwe in the near future. The Zimbabwean government decided to remove subsdies for wheat, maize, soya and other grains recently.

This has had an understandable seismic impact on the price of mealie-meal and bread. Brad which used to sell for $1.80 per loaf now has an asking price of $3.50 in most retail shops. That is an almost 100% increase in price.

According Reneth Mano an economist for the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) this increase in prices of grain and the soaring foreign currency rates are likely to impact the livestock industry as well.

By just changing, overnight, the grain marketing policies without consultations to the commercial livestock sector, which has been a major partner of government and GMB (Grain Marketing Board), the farmer has been introduced to a big shock. Now, there is a risk to the billion dollar industry

And the main threat really is if you are a poultry breeder and you are producing day-olds and you cannot access maize at affordable prices, you may have to cut production.

If you are into piggery, with imported breeding stock, like a lot of our medium and large-scale producers, when you cannot feed pigs you may have to scale down or kill some of them to convert into pork.

According to the LMAC Zimbabwe consumes 91 million birds, 266 000 cows and 140 000 pigs each year.

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