22nd July 2024

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22nd July 2024

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Worse chicken problems: consumers could pay at least 2 rand more per kilogramme this Christmas

Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer
Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer
Chicken

…chicken prices set to rise even further this December amid more Avian Flu outbreaks

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – It may cost you R2 more per kilo to put chicken on your table this Christmas.

South Africa’s biggest poultry group, Astral Foods, says producers need to increase prices to break even and make a profit.  

Costs driving chicken prices up

CEO, Chris Schutte says the industry has been facing increased costs due to the avian flu outbreak, rolling blackouts and water shortages.

The egg production cycle is also only expected to normalise early next year.

In the meantime, South Africans will have to scramble together a bigger budget to keep things festive this December.

Read more on the matter on:

AVIAN FLU | EGG AND CHICKEN PRICES RISING

Bird flu forces KFC Lesotho to shut down

Bird Flu Virus Infections in Humans

Avian influenza (Bird Flu) Fact Sheet

Information on Bird Flu

Find more news on Africa News 24

More chicken price increases looming

Meanwhile, the South African Poultry Association says egg and poultry prices could rise further amid the current avian flu outbreak.

Frozen poultry was slightly cheaper. But all other poultry products saw an increase of between R3 and R15.

Mervyn Abrahams, from the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group says they are expecting an increase in the coming months.

Poultry prices have already been skyrocketing in South Africa since April 2023 when the country recorded its first Avian Flu outbreak.

But it is not only South Africa that is suffering the strain. Namibia has banned chicken imports from South Africa while Lesotho’s fast food industry is dithering with chain stores like KFC and Galitos currently closed. Their closure was inspired by the government’s ban on imports from South Africa, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of poultry. Lesotho relies on South Africa for most of its food supplies including chicken.

The United States Embassy in Maseru last month announced a $31.4 million award under the Food for Progress (FFP) Programme to enhance and fortify the country’s poultry sector, a move that is poised to rescue fast-food chain, KFC in the mountain Kingdom. The significant news came at a time when KFC, had been forced to temporarily close its restaurants in Lesotho due to the severe bird flu outbreak in South Africa.

For decades, the FFP programme has been instrumental in supporting global agricultural systems and
stimulating rural economies. The latest initiative will be implemented in Lesotho by Land O’Lakes
Venture 37, a trusted partner known for its successful agricultural development programmes. The
programme aims to promote climate-smart agricultural practises, improve food security, and foster
economic growth within Lesotho, marking a significant milestone as this is the first time Lesotho will
benefit from FFP funding.

The recent challenges faced by KFC, a fast-food giant known for its world-famous fried chicken, highlight
the importance of strengthening Lesotho’s poultry sector. KFC was compelled to temporarily close all its
restaurants in Lesotho due to the bird flu outbreak in South Africa. The Lesotho government responded
by banning all poultry imports from its neighbour, severely affecting the fast-food chain’s supply chain.
KFC, which relies on a steady supply of chickens primarily sourced from certified farms in South Africa, is
taking proactive steps to address this issue. The company has assured its loyal customers that its
restaurants will soon reopen in Lesotho, following the resolution of the supply chain disruption.

The $31.4 million investment in Lesotho’s poultry sector through the FFP Programme represents a
significant stride towards addressing these challenges and advancing agricultural development and food
security in the region. The United States remains committed to ensuring the success of such
programmes while addressing global nutritional needs and striving for a world where hunger is
eradicated and food security is a reality for all.

South Africa is one of the continent’s biggest poultry exporters. But that reputation and capacity have taken a dent because of up to 60 bird flu outbreaks since April 2023. The outbreaks have forced South Africa to cull in excess of 30% of its chickens.

In recent months, South Africa has felt the strain emanating from the outbreaks with the price of a crate of farm fresh eggs rising from an average of R45 to a staggering R125 in the few supermarkets that have them in stock.

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Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer
Standard Lesotho Bank launches groundbreaking M11 million cashback rewards for loyal customers footer

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