Ethiopian poultry farmers have killed hundreds of thousands of chicks, as the sector is hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic.Jul 21st 2020 · 1 min read
Ethiopian poultry farmers have killed hundreds of thousands of chicks, as the sector is hit hard due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ethiopia's movement restrictions to try to contain coronavirus has led hotels in Addis Ababa to reduce operations or close down. This removes a major source of demand for poultry products.
Government data was not available but EthioChicken, one of the biggest suppliers of poultry products in Addis Ababa, said it had to kill nearly 650,000 chicks in five weeks over May and June and estimated millions had been destroyed country-wide.
"We also had to actually pull some eggs from our hatchery, so that we could destroy them as eggs instead of chicks," Fseha Tesfu, in charge of marketing at EthioChicken, told Reuters.
The impact is extremely disrupting for the sector and has potentially devastating social consequences in a country where Finance Minister Ahmed Shide said in May nearly 15 million people could need government help because of the pandemic.
"This sector used to employ a vast group of society in different regions of the country, whether it is the youth or women, in all sorts of age groups," Meba Gabriel Estifanos, a veterinarian, who also owns a small farm in Addis Ababa, said.
"Now, because we are not receiving day-old chicks as the supply chain is totally disrupted, the society employed by the sector is not working at all."
"If we are not working, it is difficult for us to pay our employees," Bantayehu Wolde-Michael, manager of Capital Hotel, a five-star hotel in Addis Ababa, told Reuters.