We have provided you with costing information of raising broiler chickens and now we look at marketing your chickens. This not an easy area as most people struggle with marketing infact our research shows that raising chickens is actually easier than marketing them.
The traditional markets used by most Zimbabweans include selling to friends, workmates, neighbours and relatives. Some do take their chickens to Mbare Musika especially road runners. We have also witnessed the proliferation of bird cages with chickens for sale along major roads in the city or at shopping centres.
Now the above selling direct selling methods bring with them a lot of problems and the chief one is customers who take chickens on credit and fail to pay! This is the number one problem with the small scale poultry industry sector-availability of a reliable market.
Some have asked us about selling to big supermarkets such as OK, TM and SPAR but the major hurdle is that you need to have a constant supply of birds and the slaughter facilities have to meet high standards to be certified by their inspectors. The certification process may eat into profits of small scale farmers and sometimes they may fail to have a constant supply of chickens.
So markets-markets-markets is a common problem affecting everyone who is in this field. You can add the fact that barriers to entry are low such that it is a flooded industry and this drives down the profitability of the sector.
So what is ZBIN doing to solve the marketing problem?
We are of the view that our farmers should form one company where they supply chickens to. The company will then be able to concentrate on selling chickens in bulk to hotel chains, supermarkets and even export. Our members should coordinate their projects such that they can supply chickens on a regular basis. Farmers should therefore enjoy economies of scale in terms of marketing of their chickens. One central place, one voice for the sale of chickens from small scale farmers.
More discussions on this initiative will be done at our ZBIN Group meeting that would be held in February next month. If you are a small scale poultry farmer we encourage you to attend our meeting and contribute to the poultry marketing challenge.
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