Skills gap is affecting the country’s commercialisation of poultry and related products, Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) has said.

Dominic Chanda, Executive Manager at PAZ said the nation need to address lack of knowledge in the bird industry.

Last year, PAZ and SNV of the Netherlands offered the Poultry Master Class Training in an effort to bridge the skills gap.

Now the Association has embarked on a campaign to encourage poultry farmers across the country to enrol for training courses offered by alumni from Poultry Master Class Training.

In response to PAZ call, Chingola District Poultry Association recently hosted a home feed mixing training, where former participants of Poultry Master Class Training, trained farmers.

“We are happy to note that Chingola poultry farmers were trained on home feed mixing by facilitators who attended the master classes in October 2016,” Chanda said.

Chingola poultry farmers’ training focused on bio-security, disease control and general poultry management including feed formulation.

On bio-security the course dealt with first line prevention of diseases into the poultry farm and the types of detergents and disinfectants for cleaning and disinfecting poultry houses.

The farmers were also educated on common diseases, vaccination and drugs involved, while on general poultry management emphasis was on feeding, lighting programmes and litter management.

Chanda Poultry Master Class Training’s main objective is to improve skills in the poultry sector – targeting 100 professionals and key service providers to train at least 100 farmers.

The Association’s ultimate goal is to reach about 10,000 farmers across the country.

Chanda said the skills transfer is also targeting several key stakeholders in the poultry industry – farmers, processors and marketing, including export managers.