Hard times hit the Gokwe Community forcing the people into the poultry industry.

My Gokwe Media had an opportunity to get to ProFeeds in the Gokwe Centre and the farmers were jammed at the entrance in a long queue.  Entrance was reserved for those who were given entrance numbers. So we did not have chance to talk to any employee.

From the people we managed interview outside the shop we observed a disparity between farmers in the urban and farmers in the peri-urbann and rural.

Farmers in the urban surbubs of Mapfungautsi, Nyaradza, Garikayi, Cheziya, Sasame and Mlalazi among others turns up for broiler farming.

Most of the people are civil servants, pensionairers and venders facing current economic challenges and turned up for poultry farming.

A woman who identified as Chihera said she is a pensionairer and a vender in one person. The money she got through pension is inadequate while lockdown restrictions and laws threw her out of business.

She decided to venture into the poultry farming since it is the quick way of raising revenue, which is an insurence to her previous income.

“I order 25 chicks 25 at a cost of$18.75.  Stresspack costs $1.76, a 10kg broiler starter cost $5.79. A 10kg grower crumbles costs $5.60, a 25kg grower pellet is going for 12.50 and a 50kg finisher pellet is $23. So I need a start-up capital of $68,” she said.

A broiler is sold for $5/6, hence, gross profit of more than $125 depending with selling prize.

However, Mbuya Chihera complained that, at Garikai surbubs the space is limited for her to venture into road runner farming. So she said roadruners are very expensive for they need to be brood just like broilers, yet, they took 8 weaks to mature.

Another farmer based in Mapfungautsi said he have three sets of 25 each. He use pig feeds since they are cheap and there is no difference with chicks fed on broiler feeds.

Most farmers complained that some centres such as, Gain, Farm & City and the FarmShop don’t sell chicks. This leads to long queues and shortage of chicks at the ProFeeds.

However, we also had a chance with some rural farmers who were looking for the feed at the ProFeeds Gokwe Retail Shop.

Because of the space and available grains and sunflowers they prefer roadruners especially the; Boschveld, Sasso and the Black Astrolope. These chicks are best for both meet and eggs.

Again, they can be kept as free range chicks which is also another way of raising revenue.

The problem is that pure breeds are obtained from the far areas as Harare, Chitungwiza and Gweru. Thus, farmers end up producing their own breeds from the eggs they harvest especially during this lockdown.

One farmer who is based on the Masakadza area confirmed that he is raising a good breed from the cross of the Boschveld and the Black Astrolope. He is yet to confirm on the quality of eggs and meet.

However, a farmer based in the Bhovha area criticised inbreeding and encouraged farmers to be patient since busses have started operations, they will soon connect with suppliers.

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