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Poultry imports and exports have dominated the headlines in the recent past. While such discussions are welcome when the subject is unfair trade, consideration of the sustainability of the SA poultry industry should also include input costs.

SA’s quest to improve its poultry industry depends on increased soybean production, a crucial ingredient in poultry feed. Roughly 50%-70% of broiler production costs in SA can be attributed to feed, 70%–80% of which comes from maize and soybean. Yellow maize production has been a success story for SA for decades and the country is usually a net exporter. The opposite is true for soybeans — SA remains a significant net importer of soybean oilcake or meal...

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