12 February 2021 - Looking at how the sub Saharan African poultry and feed milling sectors fared during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Xavier Cadiou, a consultant for Agri Réseaux International said a majority of the operators saw declines in business and was operating under capacity.
“COVID-19 had an immediate impact of turnovers. 80% of the companies we spoke with saw their turnovers decline and many had to reduce the sizes of their flocks,” Cadiou said at EuroTier today, referring to a survey his company conducted in August/September 2020 which covered 266 companies in 11 sub Saharan African countries.
He pointed out that the layer poultry sector was the most impacted by the crisis, with 74% of companies reporting business declines. Hatcheries were less impacted, although those relying on imports of parent or grandparent stock were of course forced to stop operations.
Cadiou also said that 11% of feed mills surveyed actually saw their businesses grow, mainly due to the fact that they have access to locally produced raw materials and premixes.
The consultant estimates that the sub Saharan African poultry sector has seen a 20% recovery in the months since the survey, and about 53% of companies surveyed expect their operations to return to pre-crisis levels in H1 2021.
“The future belongs to the hatcheries which grow parent and grandparent stock locally, especially in countries like Zambia, Nigeria or South Africa,” Cadiou said. “The future also belongs to the feed mills able to source raw materials and premixes and produce locally. These companies will be focused on training staff, contracting and sourcing from local farmers.”
It is understood that poultry and feed companies in sub Saharan Africa are currently actively seeking working capital and foreign investment in early-2021 as they need funds to help them rebuild stock, poultry flocks and meet demand during this phase of recovery. They are also open to local partnerships and greenfield investments.
“The time for shopping in Africa is now,” commented Cadiou.