Consuming chicken and other meats is not for everyone, says president of the Mozambican Poultry Industry

The President of the Mozambican Poultry Industry Association (AMIA), Zeiss Lacerda, said today that the consumption of chicken and other types of meat is not available to all citizens because it requires some financial stability.

"When it comes to meat, in general, the behavior, the consumption, is not for low-income consumers. Therefore, in general, all over the world, consuming meat requires some financial effort. Consuming chicken, steak or any other type of meat product requires some effort," said Zeiss Lacerda.

Another factor that limits consumption is the rearing conditions provided for broiler birds.

"The technology that has to be used, [in addition to the fact that] our chickens have to stay in luxurious houses [pavilions], and that takes its toll. So the cost of animal production is much higher than plant production, which is why meat tends to be more expensive," he explained.

According to Lacerda, the consumption of meat and meat products is very limited, even for rural producers, because the cost of producing animal proteins is high.

"For cattle and goats, for example, the community produces, but it doesn't consume, it doesn't extract. You don't just kill a goat or cattle. There has to be a very strong reason for them to be slaughtered, [and] not because they feel like eating meat," he said.

He was speaking to Rádio Moçambique as part of Mozambique's appointment as the second largest chicken producer in the Southern African Development Community.

At the time, Lacerda explained that chicken consumption fluctuates and depends on people's purchasing capacity. "For greater access to meat, we have to create greater income generation capacity in our population."

Regarding the sale of international chicken on the domestic market, Lacerda said that in the case of products of North American origin, this is due to several factors.

"It's because of consumer habits in the United States. There are products that they are not interested in consuming because of their consumers' preferences. And the other products that aren't consumed are sold to other countries at prices below the cost of production," he explained.

He also said that smuggling and tax evasion, in all regions of the country, continue to be one of the main factors that make national products less competitive. Malawi is one of the countries that manages to smuggle live chicken into the center of Niassa province, and this also represents "a health risk".

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