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SMA upholds standard of stockfeed

The Stockfeed Manufacturers Association of Zimbabwe (SMA) has been in existence since the early 1990s.

The association went into hibernation at the height of the economic downturn and was resuscitated in May 2007.

Although it started with a small membership, it has now grown to a point where most stockfeed manufacturers and traders in raw materials have joined the Association.

Members of SMA are registered with the Farm Feeds, Fertilisers and Remedies Institute and their stockfeeds are also compliant with animal feed standards under the Standards Association of Zimbabwe.

As a body, SMA aims to protect, promote and further the interests of animal feed manufacturers and advise on the promotion of the interests of the stockfeed manufacturing industry in Zimbabwe.

The Association, in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Poultry Association and the Pig Producers Association, hosts annual symposia to share new information and updates about livestock nutrition and how to improve feed conversion ratios and animal health with the use of additives and enzymes.

SMA holds monthly meetings to discuss and deliberate on issues of concern to the industry.

Quarterly statistics are collated from manufacturers and maize, soyabean and by-products from the local oil-expressing and milling industries are used to manufacture an array of stockfeeds for the Zimbabwean agricultural industry.

In 2020, the total procurement of raw materials and production of feeds were 562,382 and 554,831 metric tonnes (mt), respectively, being 10 and 11% lower than in 2019.

The total values of raw materials  procured and feeds manufactured in 2020 were ZWL12.9 billion (US$ 163.9 million) and ZWL 16.6bn (US$ 209.3m) being increases of 788% (28%) and 772% (18%) over 2019 respectively.

The average cost of procurements of raw materials in 2020 was ZWL 23,013/mt (US$291/mt) being increases of 886% (42%) over 2019.

Poultry feeds continue to dominate the stockfeed industry and account for 68% of all feeds produced by weight and 75% by monetary value.

Inflationary pressures predominately driven by exchange rate depreciation continue to characterise the operating environment.

The principal concern for the forthcoming season is the tight liquidity on the market.

Recovery from the world’s highest hyperinflation rate in 2008 and other challenges has not been easy.

One of the biggest constraints still facing the industry is the lack of raw materials available on the local market to feed livestock.

Feed represents the largest single cost in feed manufacturing and optimising their usage through the whole feed chain is, therefore, imperative. It is for this reason that SMA, in collaboration with Kemin, South Africa, host MillSmart and Nutrition Schools.

MillSmart is an innovative programme designed to address these issues and grow profitability through effective feed processing, with the highest productivity, the lowest cost and risk while assuring product quality. The programme also optimises the overall conditioning performance of milling operations.

In the 2020/2021 agricultural season, farmers are expected to benefit from the pre-planting price of US$320/mt announced by government and discussions have taken place between government and private industry on funding models that involve pre-payment by users of maize.

Reports of bumper harvests, both domestically and within the region, are exerting  downward pressure on the maize price. July prices on the South African Futures Exchange are trading at US$310/mt.

Regionally, Malawi and Zambia are expected to harvest a significant maize crop and Zambia is expected to issue export licences in the second half of the year.

The local soyabean crop is currently estimated at between 50–80,000mt against the national annual requirement of 240,000mt and producers are expecting similar equivalent US dollar.

Some commercial farmers opted to grow maize instead of soyabeans because of the better profitability afforded by the pre-planting price.

There are also high expectations of a large harvest of traditional grains such as sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet.

At the annual general meeting of the Association held earlier in March, outgoing chairman Israel Muchuchu in his address to the meeting, noted that “2020 had been one of the most challenging and unique in the history of the country’s industry in general and stockfeed manufacturers in particular”.

In the first quarter of 2021, business operations were declared as essential services and remained open during the lockdown period in the early months of the year.

It is anticipated that 2021 will be a varied, interesting and challenging year for members of SMA.

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