SA hatches plan as egg supplies likely to normalise early in 2024
To prepare for the December festive season, the agriculture department has granted permits for imports of fertilised eggs
Imports are ensuring egg stock levels are replenishing steadily before the festive season, obviating the need for panic-buying, the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development says.
The virulent outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza is under control, according to department spokesperson Reggie Ngcobo.
The outbreak led to the culling of millions of chickens since the beginning of 2023 and a shortage of eggs on shop shelves.
Ngcobo said this is being addressed through imports and the 70% of farms not infected, which are continuing to produce eggs and chickens.
“Since the egg-production cycle is not too long, we expect the situation to normalise early in 2024. We will continue to import eggs should the situation not improve.”
To prepare for the December festive season, he said the department had granted permits for imports of fertilised eggs (9-million; day-old chicks (37,802 tonnes); egg products (62 tonnes) and poultry meat (30,986 tonnes).
“We have increased fertilised eggs from 1.9-million to 9-million in less than one month. These eggs will be chickens in less [than] four months.”
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